The molecular alignment of liquid crystals was studied with three different imprinted patterns. The three different shapes of molds (square-, V- and U-shaped) replicated the microstructures with electroplating process was fabricated. Surfaces with three different microgrooved patterns were used as the alignment layer of the liquid crystal cell. The effect of the shape of imprinted alignment layer on the molecular orientation of LC was investigated. Among these patterns, U-shaped groove pattern resulted in a high performance of liquid crystal orientation, pretilt angle and anchoring energy, which are quite comparable to the conventionally rubbed layer. It clearly shows that the molecular orientation of liquid crystals is influenced by the shape of microgrooved patterns. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.