[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 11, No. 6 (2004) 349-352]
© 2004 The Optical Society of Japan

Light Diffraction of Aligned Polymer Fibers Periodically Dispersed by Phase Separation of Liquid Crystal and Polymer

Takeshi MURASHIGE, Hideo FUJIKAKE, Hiroto SATO, Hiroshi KIKUCHI, Taiichiro KURITA and Fumio SATO

NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories, 1-10-11 Kinuta, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-8510, Japan

(Received July 14, 2004; Accepted August 25, 2004)

We have confirmed light diffraction of aligned polymer fibers obtained by a phase separation of an anisotropic-phase solution of liquid crystal and polymer. He–Ne laser light passing through the polymer fibers was scattered in the axis vertical to the fibers, and had two peaks of light intensity symmetrical to the center of the transmitting laser spot. The two peaks were found to be caused by light diffraction due to the periodic polymer-fiber dispersion because the peaks corresponded to values calculated by intervals between the fibers. The periodical fiber networks are considered to be formed by anisotropic spinodal decomposition. This effect can be used to measure the dispersion order of the polymer fibers.

Key words: light diffraction, aligned polymer fiber, liquid crystal, phase separation, spinodal decomposition