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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 2 — Jan. 28, 2013
  • pp: 1645–1655

Photostimulated control of laser transmission through photoresponsive cholesteric liquid crystals

Jonathan P. Vernon, Aaron D. Zhao, Rafael Vergara, Hyunmin Song, Vincent P. Tondiglia, Timothy J. White, Nelson V. Tabiryan, and Timothy J. Bunning  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 1645-1655 (2013)

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Cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) are selectively reflective optical materials, the color of which can be tuned via electrical, thermal, mechanical, or optical stimuli. In this work, we show that self-regulation of the transmission of a circularly polarized incident beam can occur upon phototuning of the selective reflection peak of a photosensitive CLC mixture towards the pump wavelength. The autonomous behavior occurs as the red-shifting selective reflection peak approaches the wavelength of the incident laser light. Once the red-edge of the CLC bandgap and incident laser wavelength overlap, the rate of tuning dramatically slows. The dwell time (i.e., duration of the overlap of stimulus wavelength with CLC bandgap) is shown to depend on the radiation wavelength, polarization, and intensity. Necessary conditions for substantial dwell time of the CLC reflection peak at the pump beam wavelength include irradiation with low intensity light (~1mW/cm2) and the utilization of circularly polarized light of the same handedness as the helical structure within the CLC. Monitoring the optical properties in both reflection and transmission geometries elucidates differences associated with attenuation of the light through the thickness of the CLC film.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(160.4890) Materials : Organic materials
(160.6840) Materials : Thermo-optical materials
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(160.5335) Materials : Photosensitive materials

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: November 28, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 11, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 20, 2012
Published: January 15, 2013

Jonathan P. Vernon, Aaron D. Zhao, Rafael Vergara, Hyunmin Song, Vincent P. Tondiglia, Timothy J. White, Nelson V. Tabiryan, and Timothy J. Bunning, "Photostimulated control of laser transmission through photoresponsive cholesteric liquid crystals," Opt. Express 21, 1645-1655 (2013)

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