Thin aligned organic polymer films for liquid crystal devices
This project was designed to investigate the possibility of producing alignment layers for liquid crystal devices by cross-linking thin films containing anisotropic polymer bound chromophores via irradiation with polarised ultra violet light. Photocross-linkable polymers find use in microelectronics, liquid crystal displays, printing and UV curable lacquers and inks; so there is an increasing incentive for the development of new varieties of photopolymers in general. The synthesis and characterisation of two new photopolymers that are suitable as potential alignment layers for liquid crystal devices are reported in this thesis. The first polymer contains the anthracene chromophore attached via a spacer unit to a methacrylate backbone and the second used a similarly attached aryl azide group. Copolymers of the new monomers with methyl methacrylate were investigated to establish reactivity ratios in order to understand composition drift during polymerisation.