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Flexoelectric switching in a bistable nematic device

Davidson, A.J. and Mottram, N.J. (2002) Flexoelectric switching in a bistable nematic device. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 65 (5). 051710. ISSN 1063-651X

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Abstract

We present a continuum theory meodel of switching in a bistable nematic crystal device. The bistability of the device investigated relies on the fact that one of the cell surfaces exhibits two stable anchoring states, that is, two surface director orientations are locally stable. Since the other surface exhibits monostable, homeotropic anchoring there are two possible ground state dorector orientatins within the cell, depending on the director orientation at the bistable surface. We first investigate the stability of these base states and find a critical surface anchoring strength below which only on e of the states is stable. We also investigate the process of switching between the two stable states through the application of an electric field and the presence of a flexoelectric effect and may hinder switching. We find, therefore, that a window of possible field strengths exists within which switching occurs.