We have investigated the generation of the pretilt angles for nematic liquid crystal (5CB) aligned in the cells using rubbed polyimide (PI) films containing trifluoromethyl moieties as a function of rubbing strength (RS). In order to characterize the films, we have conducted an analysis of the surface atomic concentration of fluorine (F) relative to that of carbon (C), F/C(%) with an electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) in the shallow surface region at the depth of 3 and 12 nm. It is shown that the F/C ratio at a depth of 3 nm decreases with RS, and that the observed pretilt angle shows a high value approaching 45°in the weak RS region, and tends to decrease with increasing RS. The existence of the trifluoromethyl moiety in the special PI, and its appearance in the surface region are considered to be responsible for the generation of high pretilt angles at low RS region since a surface covered by fluorine atoms has a low surface energy and the van der Waals dispersion force is thought to be dominant and hence perpendicular LC alignment is expected. With increasing RS the surface concentration of fluorine atoms decreases and repeated triangles will be formed; a combination of the dispersion force and steric interaction between LC molecules and these structures may cause a medium or low pretilted LC conformation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)