The characteristics of ion beam (IB) irradiated polyethylene glycol (PEG) films were analyzed to determine their potential use as a liquid crystal (LC) alignment layer. The transmittance of the PEG films at various IB intensities was measured to verify the possibility of using it as an alignment layer. Anti-parallel cells with the PEG film were fabricated to examine the LC alignment characteristics. Perfectly dark cross-polarized microscopy images were obtained at an intensity of 700 eV, which indicates uniform LC alignment, and pre-tilt angle measurements supported this finding. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses were conducted to determine the effect of the IB irradiation on the PEG film on the surface modification. After exposure at an IB intensity of 700 eV where uniform LC alignment was achieved, remarkable chemical composition modification of the PEG film, including the reduction of C-O bonds that affected the uniform LC alignment, was observed via the XPS analysis. Furthermore, the AFM analysis revealed that low kurtosis value was obtained at this IB intensity. Therefore, we are convinced that the PEG films irradiated at this low IB intensity show potential as alternative alignment layer in LC applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant No. 2018-11-0902).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics