Cholesteric Metronomes with Flexoelectrically Programmable Amplitude

Vinay Joshi*, Kai Han Chang, Andrii Varanytsia, Daniel A. Paterson, John M.D. Storey, Corrie T. Imrie, Liang Chy Chien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Replicating natural phenomena using soft material actuators is a major challenge for material scientists. For example, a metronome is a device that produces an audible beat at a selected interval. In anisotropic soft materials, a flexoelectrically-driven cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) can display a metronome-like swinging effect when an applied electric field is normal to the helices of a CLC that are aligned normal to the substrates. The amplitude and direction of swing of a flexoelectrically-driven CLC is electrically programmable. Combining a bimesogen and a CLC with an optimized helical pitch, the mixture enables a large flexoelastic ratio (e/K = 2.758 CN-1 m-1) and swinging amplitude of 53°. Furthermore, assisted by polymer stabilization the composite mixture offers many benefits of electro-optical characteristics including fast response time (425 μs) and high optical contrast (500:1) between the field-on and field-off states as well as wavelength-independent transmittance. The advances in the flexoelectro-optical behavior of cholesteric metronomes open new avenues for applications in information displays, sensors and photonic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800013
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number12
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Ohio Development Services Agency. Grant Number: TECG 2015‐0128


  • Bimesogen
  • Cholesteric liquid crystals
  • Electro-optic response
  • Flexoelectricity
  • Liquid crystal displays


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