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Electrically actuatable doped polymer flakes and electrically addressable optical devices using suspensions of doped polymer flakes in a fluid host

United States Patent

May 11, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Doped electrically actuatable (electrically addressable or switchable) polymer flakes have enhanced and controllable electric field induced motion by virtue of doping a polymer material that functions as the base flake matrix with either a distribution of insoluble dopant particles or a dopant material that is completely soluble in the base flake matrix. The base flake matrix may be a polymer liquid crystal material, and the dopants generally have higher dielectric permittivity and/or conductivity than the electrically actuatable polymer base flake matrix. The dopant distribution within the base flake matrix may be either homogeneous or non-homogeneous. In the latter case, the non-homogeneous distribution of dopant provides a dielectric permittivity and/or conductivity gradient within the body of the flakes. The dopant can also be a carbon-containing material (either soluble or insoluble in the base flake matrix) that absorbs light so as to reduce the unpolarized scattered light component reflected from the flakes, thereby enhancing the effective intensity of circularly polarized light reflected from the flakes when the flakes are oriented into a light reflecting state. Electro-optic devices contain these doped flakes suspended in a host fluid can be addressed with an applied electric field, thus controlling the orientation of the flakes between a bright reflecting state and a non-reflecting dark state.
Trajkovska-Petkoska; Anka (Rochester, NY), Jacobs; Stephen D. (Pittsford, NY), Marshall; Kenneth L. (Henrietta, NY), Kosc; Tanya Z. (Rochester, NY)
The University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
11/ 230,059
September 19, 2005
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract DE-FC52-92SF19460 between The University of Rochester and The Department of Energy.