Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have made a breakthrough in the effort to uniformly control the orientation of liquid crystal molecules by developing a stable, rewritable memory device that takes advantage of the “anchoring transition” property of liquid crystals. The team was able to align rod-like liquid crystal molecules in a polymer using a laser beam or electrical field. The liquid crystal can store and erase data, and be used repeatedly. “This is the first rewritable memory device utilizing anchoring transition,” says lead researcher Hideo Takezoe. The device also is bi-stable–the liquid crystals retain their orientation in one of two directions–and does not need power to keep images, Takezoe says.
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