For planar alignment - polyimides can be used. One of the popular ones is PI-2555.
The surface has to be rubbed by paper or by a velvet or similar cloth in order to make the alignment axis parallel to the rubbing. However the exact mechanism if this alignment is not entirely clear.
US Patent Issued to Dai Nippon Printing on Jan. 15 for "Optical Functional Film, Retardation Film, Composition for Forming Optical Functional Layer and Producing Method of Optical Functional Film" (Japanese Inventors)
Jan 21, 2013; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 21 -- United States Patent no. 8,355,203, issued on Jan. 15, was assigned to Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd....