SBIR Phase I: A New Class of Complex Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Mesogens for Advanced Electro-Optic Devices
Small Business Information
2602 Clover Basin Drive, Longmont, CO, 80503
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to test the feasibility of developing families of complex liquid crystal molecules that offer previously unobtainable material properties; advanced electro-optic capabilities in particular. For decades, predominant liquid crystal molecules have been variants on simple rod shapes. Radically new liquid crystal molecules (mesogens) have begun to appear in recent years, such as bent-core "banana" molecules and dimers, which exhibit novel and potentially valuable properties. This work will focus on fundamental questions of how dimers can be designed to possess the required liquid crystal phase sequences and what the general structure-function rules for these new molecules are. The objectives are to synthesize a series of readily accessible dimers, control their mesogenicity by the modification of tails and cores, construct "structure-property" relationships in this new type of mesogens, and find suitable alignment techniques. The ultimate anticipated benefits include the development of a new type of electro-optic (EO) materials that will surpass current organic competitors in EO strength and lifetime, and will surpass current commercial EO materials in EO performance, integrability, and low cost. Potential commercial applications include telecommunications (high-speed EO modulation (e.g. > 100GHz), M by N switches, free space communications beam steering, amplification), detection (LADAR beam steering, optical sensors), and optical information processing (spatial light modulators, holography, optical computing and storage).
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