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Confocal Raman Microscopy of Liquid-Crystal-Filled Polymer Capsules Made by Photo-Enforced Stratification

Volume 59, Number 8 (Aug. 2005) Page 965-975

Mank, A.J.G.; Vorstenbosch, I.; Penterman, R.; Vogels, J.P.A.; Klink, S.I.; Broer, D.J.

The applicability of confocal Raman microscopy for characterizing thin liquid-crystal (LC) filled polymer capsules obtained by photo-enforced stratification is demonstrated. The investigated structure consists of an array of polymer capsules (typical size 500 × 500 × 20 μm) filled with LC material and is made by photopolymerization of a mixture of monomers and LC. Such an array can be used as the electro-optical component in liquid crystal displays. Confocal Raman microscopy does not require complex sample preparation, is non-invasive, and is shown to have adequate spatial and depth resolution. Although Raman spectroscopy is inherently insensitive, the use of data preprocessing and computational modeling makes it possible to quantify both the conversion of monomer to polymer and the compositions of both the polymer-rich and the LC-rich phase.