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CH3 — Si — (CH2)3 — 0 —<^^- CH=CH-C00-CH2 0C5H
PHOTOSENSITIVE MATERIAL FOR
ORIENTATION OF LIQUID CRYSTAL
DEVICE AND LIQUID CRYSTAL DEVICE
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/652,041, filed May 23, 1996, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a thermostable photopolymeric film for liquid crystal (LC) alignment.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Several alignment materials have been known for homogeneous alignment of LC; polysiloxane polymers or polyamide polymers, in particular, are known to provide a high quality, thermostable alignment of various LC mixtures. To obtain a monodomain layer orientation for liquid crystal cells, several techniques are known: for example, stretching (H. Aoyama, Y. Yamazaki et al., Mol Cryst, Kiq. Cryst. Lett, 1981, Vol. 72, P 127), microgroove formation (E.S. Lee P. Vetter et al, Jpn Appl Phys., 1993, VOL. 32, P. L1436) and mechanical rubbing of the polymer surfaces (S. Kobayashi et al., Proc, SPIE, 1994, Vol. 2175, P 123; D. S. Soe et al, Mol, Cryst, Liq. Cryst., 1993, vol. 224, p. 13).
However, the above techniques have drawbacks. For example, microgrooves inherently contain defects and these defects are known to cause random phase distortions and light scattering, thus degrading display characteristics. Static electricity generated during the rubbing of the polymer surface is known to cause defects in active matrix LC displays, surface locally so that each region has a different orientation with the above techniques.
Other techniques are also known. For example, W. M. Gibbons et al. Nature, 1991, vol. 351, p. 49, M Schdt et al., Jpn. J. Appl. Phys, 1992, vol. 31, part I, p. 2155, and T. Y. Marusii, Y. A. Reznikov. Mol. Mat., 1993, vol. 3, p. 161, EP 0525478 all describe methods of forming photopolymeric orientation films. According to these other techniques, to form a photopolymeric orientation film prepolymers were produced by the reaction of a polyvinylalcohol with substituted cinnamic acids. Then, the prepolymers were photopolymerized by irradiation with a linearly polarized ultra-violet (UV) light beam.
The photopolymerization of the prepolymers caused by directed cross-linking of polyvinylcinnamates (PVCN) linear chains forms a new net polymeric structure with a higher order due to double bond opening reaction in cinnamoyl fragments, i.e. 2—2 cycloaddition reaction. Such a polymeric orientation film possesses an optical anisotropy and is known to planarly orient standard LC molecules in a preferred axial direction perpendicular to the polarization vector of the UV light beam.
However, the main disadvantage of such a photopolymeric orientation 20 film is low thermostability, especially of oblique orientation. In addition, it has been experimentally discovered that with this type of polymer orientation films, the planar alignment of PVCN materials becomes thermally unstable at temperatures above 100°-110° C. Moreover, when the LC cell is heated above the clear point Tj and subsequently cooled, dramatic changes in the state of the liquid crystal cell (e.g., from isotropic to nematic to smectic to crystal) occur, degrading the quality of alignment. The thermostability of oblique alignment onto PVCN materials is very poor; it is not better than 50°-60° C. As the
working temperature range of the LC cell tends to increase, the clear point of the LC cell consequently increases up to a temperature range of 80°-100° C. A conventional photopolymer film, which uses a PVCN as a prepolymer, cannot withstand such a high process and operating temperature range. The additional disadvantage of PVCN materials is a poor alignment quality of LC, particularly for active matrix LC displays.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the problems and disadvantages of the prior art by providing a photosensitive material for orientating a liquid crystal comprising a polysiloxane and a derivative of a cinnamoyl group. The photosensitive orientation material provides unidirectional LC alignment to generate a high pretilt angle for various LC compounds, and superior thermal stability, and is suitable for mass production, especially for active matrix LC displays. One of the features of the present invention is to LAW OFFICES combine the thermostable alignment property of polysiloxane polymers with the photoalignment capability of PVCN polymers. The photoalignment capability is provided by the presence of a derivative of a cinaminic acid in the PVCN polymer, which provides a cross-linking reaction when it is exposed to a polarized light beam.
To achieve the objects and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, the orientation film of the present invention, as embodied herein, preferably includes a photopolymerized polysiloxancinnamate (PSCN) of the general formula.
layer and an orientation layer between the substrate and the liquid crystal layer for orienting the liquid crystal layer, which orientation layer includes a polysiloxane and a derivative cinnamoyl group.
According to yet another aspect of the present invention, 5 the liquid crystal device comprises a first substrate, a second substrate, a liquid crystal layer between the first and second substrates, a first orientation layer over the first substrate including a polysiloxane and a derivative of a cinnamoyl group, and a second orientation layer over the second 10 substrate for orienting the liquid crystal layer cooperatively with the first orientation layer, which second orientation film includes a material different from that of the first orientation film.
According to yet another aspect of the present invention, 15 the liquid crystal device comprises a first substrate, a second substrate, a liquid crystal layer between the first and second substrates, a first orientation layer over the second substrate, the first and second orientation layers each including a photosensitive material for cooperatively orienting the liq- 20 uid crystal layer, which photosensitive material includes a polysiloxane and a derivative of a cinnamoyl group.
Additional objectives and advantages of the invention will set forth in part in the description that follows and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by 25 practice of the invention. The objectives and advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in 30 and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 35
FIG. 1 shows various forms of a polysiloxancinnamate (PSCN) according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows an experimental set up for measuring properties of a photosensitive orientation film according to an embodiment the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows a liquid crystal display device having an orientation film according to an embodiment of the present invention. 45
FIG. 4A, FIG. 4B, and FIG. 4C show a list of exemplary orientation materials in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
The active matrix LC display device, according to an embodiment of the present invention, preferably uses a polysiloxancinnamate (PSCN) as an orientation layer to enhance thermostability and provide a high pretilt angle of 55 the LC cell. The prepolymer was photopolymerized by irradiating it with a linearly polarized ultra-violet (UV) light beam.
Several different types of PSCN have been obtained from an alkyl or aryl esters 4-allyloxycinnamic acid and 60 mefhylpolysiloxane, or by hydrolyzing 3-(4-subitituted cinnamoxy) propyl trichlorosilylanes. More specifically, a new polysiloxancinnamate has been synthesized according to a method, for example, as shown in FIG. 1. The PSCN may be synthesized by a reaction of corresponding polyox- 65 ysiloxane derivatives with an esters 4-allyloxycinnamic acid in a boiling toluene in the presence of a catalyst, such as
platinum chloride. The resulting PSCN may be reduced by diluting the reaction mixture with methanol, filtrated, dried in a vacuum, and then milled in a vibrating mill.
An exemplary process for making a polymer orientation film, as embodied herein, is described in three stages below:
a) POLYMER SOLUTION: A polymer solution was prepared using a 1:1 mixture of a 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) and a chlorobezene (CB) for a low molecular weight PSON and a 1:4 mixture of a DCE and a CB for a higher molecular weight PSCN.
The polymer concentration was determined by the thickness of a coating (or orientation) layer on each glass substrate. The thickness was measured with a Linnik interferometer.
b) POLYMER FILM DEPOSITION: An optimum of a PSON solution 4 g/1 was selected for coating the glass substrate to provide a film thickness of approximately 500 nm. Adrop of the PSCN solution was placed in the center of the glass substrate using a measuring pipette. The solution was deposited on the glass substrate by centrifuging to constitute an orientation film. The centrifuging is maintained for approximately 20-30 seconds at a rotational speed of 3-5xl03 revolutions per minute. The orientation film was prebaked immediately after the centrifuging at a temperature of approximately 50°-150° C. for about 1 hour.
c) FILM ILLUMINATION: The initially isotropic polymer film became anisotropic when it was irradiated with a polarized UV light beam having a wavelength of X<365 nm.
FIG. 2 illustrates an experimental set up for measuring various properties of an orientation layer according to the embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 illustrates a liquid crystal display device having an orientation film according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4A; FIG. 4B, and FIG. 4C show a list of exemplary orientation materials in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 2, FIG. 3, FIG. 4A, FIG. 4B, and FIG. 4C, the liquid crystal display having an orientation film according to an embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail.
A glass substrate 5 coated with a PSCN orientation film 4 was illuminated with a polarized UV light beam. The UV light beam was formed by a Hg lamp 1 with average power of 500 w and a lens system 2, and exposed through a polarizing Glan-Thompson prism 3. The PSCN film 4 on the glass substrate 5 was exposed, for example, for 5-15 minutes at a power density I of 10 mw/cm2.
The LC cell was assembled using a known (sandwichlike) assembling technique: the two glass substrates were set apart by Teflon spacers, and the irradiated PSCN coatings on the surface of each glass substrate faced one another. Then, LC materials for the active matrix displays were introduced into the gap between the two substrates utilizing a capillary effect.
The PSCN film in the LC-cell provides a high quality homogeneous alignment of LC molecules and a pretilt angle which depends on both the time duration of prebaking and the length of the alkyl fragment (Y) of the PSCN: increasing the prebaking time causes a transition from i) a homeotropic via oblique to planar orientation (see Table 1); and ii) a negligibly small tilt angle (PSCN without alkyl chain, Y=H) to a higher tilt angle (Y=C„H2„+or 0C„H2„+, n=l or 2 to 10) (see Table 2). The tilt angle of the LC-director (i.e., the direction of the average orientation of the "long axes" of the molecules by a unit vector) on the PSCN was measured
Pretilt angle of LC-mixtures in LC cells of PSCN with Y = CnH2n + 1.
m X, X1; X2 1 n Pretilt angle, QP (deg)
8 H 3 5 0
20 H 3 5 2
40 H 3 5 3
100 H 3 5 5
Pretilt angle of LC-mixtures in LC cells of PSCN with Y = OCnH2n + 1. m X, X1; X2 1 n Pretilt angle, QP (deg)
8 H 3 5 2
20 H 3 5 4
40 H 3 5 5
100 H 3 5 6
Pretilt angle of LC-mixtures in LC cells of PSCN with
Moreover, the optical and electrooptical characteristics of the LC cell demonstrate that the PSCN-films are suitable for LC alignment. The LC cells formed between the substrates covered with the prepolymers were experimentally proven to be superior in thermostability for both homogenity of orientation and pretilt angle stability.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, the thermostability was measured by i) a visual observation of the quality of LC, alignment between the crossed polarizers and by ii) measuring the tilt angle 9 after several beatingcooling cycles. The twisted PSCN film was tested on. an automatic experimental set up normally used for measuring