Advanced Materials

Surface Acoustic Wave Driven Light Shutters Using Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystals

Authors

  • Yan Jun Liu,

    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Xiaoyun Ding,

    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Sz-Chin Steven Lin,

    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Jinjie Shi,

    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    2. The DOW Chemical Company, Spring House Technology Center, Spring House, PA 19477, USA
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  • I-Kao Chiang,

    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Tony Jun Huang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    • Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
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Abstract

A surface acoustic wave (SAW)-driven light shutter is demonstrated using poly­mer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs). Our experiments show that a PDLC film switches from a non-transparent state to a transparent state when subjected to a SAW. The working mechanism is analyzed theoretically and the acousto-optic properties of the PDLC film are characterized. This swit­ching behavior results from the acoustic streaming-induced realignment of liquid crystal (LC) molecules as well as SAW-induced thermal diffusion. Such a device shows an excellent performance in terms of imaging quality and optical contrast, which is important for display applications and smart windows.

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