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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 4 — Feb. 25, 2013
  • pp: 4361–4366

Photo-switchable bistable twisted nematic liquid crystal optical switch

Chun-Ta Wang, Yueh-Chi Wu, and Tsung-Hsien Lin  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 4, pp. 4361-4366 (2013)

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This work demonstrates a photo-switchable bistable optical switch that is based on an azo-chiral doped liquid crystal (ACDLC). The photo-induced isomerization of the azo-chiral dopant can change the chirality of twisted nematic liquid crystal and the gap/pitch ratio of an ACDLC device, enabling switching between 0° and 180° twist states in a homogeneous aligned cell. The bistable 180° and 0° twist states of the azo-chiral doped liquid crystal between crossed polarizers correspond to the ON and OFF states of a light shutter, respectively, and they can be maintained stably for tens of hours. Rapid switching between 180° and 0° twist states can be carried out using 408 and 532nm addressing light. Such a photo-controllable optical switch requires no specific asymmetric alignment layer or precise control of the cell gap/pitch ratio, so it is easily fabricated and has the potential for use in optical systems.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.1150) Optical devices : All-optical devices
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: January 8, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 3, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 4, 2013
Published: February 12, 2013

Chun-Ta Wang, Yueh-Chi Wu, and Tsung-Hsien Lin, "Photo-switchable bistable twisted nematic liquid crystal optical switch," Opt. Express 21, 4361-4366 (2013)

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