In this study, we have fabricated polyacrylate substrates having a nano-patterned surface topography using a soft-imprint technique. The planar alignment of liquid crystals (LCs) along the direction of nanogrooves has been generated. Twisting behavior of nematic LCs has been also observed with a perpendicularly assembled LC cell and the cell parameters can be estimated by using the Soutar and Lu method. By comparing the anchoring energies obtained, accordingly, it has been demonstrated that the polymer nanogroove pattern has a comparable influence on LC alignment to the conventional rubbing process. It has been also shown that the artificial topography of the line grooves on the conventionally rubbed surface has a significant influence on the anchoring stability of the LC molecules. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.