Electrochromic Polymer-Dispersed Liquid-Crystal Film: A New Bifunctional Device

Authors


  • MIUR, the Italian Ministry for University, is acknowledged for financial support (Grants EX 60% and PRIN 2003).

Abstract

Polymer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs) are liquid-crystal dispersions within a polymer matrix. These films can be changed from an opaque to a transparent state by applying a suitable alternating-current electric field. PDLCs have attracted the interest of researchers for their applications as light shutters, smart windows, and active displays. For such applications, electrochromic devices, which change color as a result of electrochemical reactions, have also become a recent focus of research. Herein, we report our preliminary results on bifunctional devices based on PDLCs that host electrochromic guest molecules. Such devices allow both an independent and fast switching from a scattering opaque state to a transmissive transparent state owing to liquid-crystal reorientation and a color change from white (pale yellow) to dark blue, due to either oxidation or reduction of the electrochromic molecules.

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