response time, liquid crystal, phase modulator


In this dissertation, the response time issue of the liquid crystal (LC) devices is investigated in meeting the challenges for display and photonic applications. The correlation between the LC director response time and the optical response time is derived theoretically and confirmed experimentally. A major contribution of this thesis is that, based on the small angle approximation, we derive rigorous analytical solutions for correlating the LC director response time to its consequent optical response times (both rise and decay) of a vertical-aligned nematic LC cell. This work successfully fills the gap in the literature of LCD switching dynamics. An important effect related to response time, backflow is analyzed using a homogeneous LC cell in an infrared wavelength. The Leslie viscosity coefficients can hardly be found in the literature. A new effective approach to estimate the Leslie coefficients of LC mixtures based on MBBA data is proposed in this dissertation. Using this method, the Leslie coefficients of the LC material under study can be extracted based on its order parameters. The simulation results agree with the experimental data very well. This method provides a useful tool for analyzing the dynamic response including backflow. Cell gap is an important factor affecting the LC response time. Usually a thinner cell gap is chosen to achieve faster response time, since normally both rise and decay times are known to be proportional to d2. However, they are valid only in the region. In the large voltage region where , the optical decay time is independent of d. In this thesis, we find that between these two extremes the response time is basically linearly proportional to d. Our analytical derivation is validated by experimental results. Therefore, in the whole voltage region, the physical picture of the optical response time as a function of the cell gap is completed. This analysis is useful for understanding the grayscale switching behaviors of the LC phase modulators. In conclusion, this dissertation has solved some important issues related to LC optical response time and supplied valuable tools for scientists and engineers to numerically analyze the LC dynamics.


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Graduation Date





Wu, Shin-Tson


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Release Date

January 2006

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)