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Schematic diagram of the nematic liquid crystal device. The nematic liquid crystal is confined by a periodic series of wells in the plane.
Alignment states observed in transmission between crossed polarizers under a magnification of . The polarizers are rotated by 0° (upper row), 10.5°, and 21.0° (lower row) relative to the device. The arrows in each case indicate the polarizer orientations. The wells were formed from squares with side of .
(Color online) Alignment states, predicted by -tensor theory, which correspond to the same states observed in the experimental device in Fig. 2. The upper row shows the two-dimensional variation of the order parameter as a grayscale plot where white corresponds to and black to . The lower row shows the two-dimensional variation of the in-plane rotation angle of the nematic director.
Optical textures produced from the modeled alignment states shown in Fig. 3 assuming that the transmission between crossed polarizers is given by the standard formula for a birefringent material (Ref. 24). The alignment states are shown with polarisers rotated by 0° (upper row), 10.5°, and 21.0° (lower row) relative to the device.
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