Highly polarized absorption and emission from polymer-stabilized smectic guest-host systems

The optical properties of luminescent molecules dissolved in liquid crystals have led to their proposed use in luminescent thin-film polarizers. These molecules are typically required to fulfil a range of criteria related to their absorption and emission properties, degree of alignment and stability; however, concurrently satisfying these requirements has proven a barrier in their practical use. We obtained highly polarized absorption and emission luminescent thin-film polarizer using reactive liquid crystalline monomers and highly dichroic luminescent dyes, both of which have polymerizable end groups. In situ photopolymerization of the liquid crystalline mixtures in the highly ordered SmB phase resulted in the formation of cross-linked polymeric networks in which the anisotropic absorption and emission of the film were fixed. The as-obtained product exhibited a high dichroic ratio (DR = 30) with a large fluorescence quantum yield (ϕF = 0.77). The device is both cheap and easy to fabricate and has the potential to be used in practical electro-optic applications.