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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 18 — Aug. 31, 2009
  • pp: 15736–15746

Azobenzene liquid crystal polymer-based membrane and cantilever optical systems

Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 18, pp. 15736-15746 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.17.015736


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Abstract

Optically deformable membranes and cantilevers based on azobenzene liquid crystal polymer networks (azo-LCN) are demonstrated in the context of dynamic optical systems. Large modulations in laser beam propagation direction or amplitude directed by laser-induced changes in material shape are demonstrated. These macroscopic shape changes are induced by local changes to the liquid crystalline order induced by photoisomerization processes. We demonstrate herein a number of concepts including the focusing and defocusing action of an azo-LCN membrane, laser beam steering from a bimorph azo-LCN/metal cantilever, and surface initiated bending and blocking of a parallel propagating laser beam. High speed and large angle deformations of an incident or reference beam is demonstrated when coupled into suitable optical architectures. The concepts under discussion appear to be highly practical for a number of applications due to the significant nonlinearity and photosensitivity of azo-LCN materials.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(160.5470) Materials : Polymers
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(260.5130) Physical optics : Photochemistry

ToC Category:
Materials

History
Original Manuscript: July 2, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 10, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2009
Published: August 20, 2009

Citation
Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning, "Azobenzene liquid crystal polymer-based membrane and cantilever optical systems," Opt. Express 17, 15736-15746 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-17-18-15736


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References

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