Dielectric studies of Liquid Crystal Nanocomposites and Nanomaterial systems.

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Liquid crystals (LCs) have revolutionized the display and communication technologies. Doping of LCs with inorganic nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles and ferroelectric nanoparticles have garnered the interest of research community as they aid in improving the electro-optic performance. In this thesis, we examine a hybrid nanocomposite comprising of 5CB liquid crystal and block copolymer functionalized barium titanate ferroelectric nanoparticles. This hybrid system exhibits a giant soft-memory effect. Here, spontaneous polarization of ferroelectric nanoparticles couples synergistically with the radially aligned BCP chains to create nanoscopic domains that can be rotated electromechanically and locked in space even after the removal of the applied electric field. The resulting non-volatile memory is several times larger than the non-functionalized sample and provides an insight into the role of non-covalent polymer functionalization. We also present the latest results from the dielectric and spectroscopic study of field assisted alignment of gold nanorods.