We have performed a detailed study of the polarization properties and switching behavior of holographic polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal gratings. A theoretical model [R. L. Sutherland, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B <b>19</b>, 2995 (2002)] is compared with a number of observed phenomena in reflection and transmission gratings made with different types of liquid crystals under a variety of experimental conditions. Anomalous polarization effects are described and interpreted. We show that a wide variation of holographic polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal grating properties can be explained in terms of the statistics of droplet orientational distributions.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(050.7330) Diffraction and gratings : Volume gratings
(090.2900) Holography : Optical storage materials
(230.1950) Optical devices : Diffraction gratings
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(260.1180) Physical optics : Crystal optics
Richard L. Sutherland, Lalgudi V. Natarajan, Vince P. Tondiglia, Suresh Chandra, Christina K. Shepherd, Donna M. Brandelik, Stephen A. Siwecki, and Timothy J. Bunning, "Polarization and switching properties of holographic polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal gratings. II. Experimental investigations," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 3004-3012 (2002)