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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 8 — Apr. 12, 2010
  • pp: 8697–8704

Azobenzene liquid crystalline materials for efficient optical switching with pulsed and/or continuous wave laser beams

Uladzimir A. Hrozhyk, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Landa Hoke, Diane M. Steeves, and Brian R. Kimball  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 8, pp. 8697-8704 (2010)

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This study compares optical switching capabilities of liquid crystal (LC) materials based on different classes of azobenzene dyes. LCs based on molecules containing benzene rings with nearly symmetrical π-π conjugation respond more efficiently to a cw beam than to a nanosecond laser pulse and maintain the changes induced by the beam for tens of hours. Using azo dye molecules containing two benzene rings with push-pull π-π conjugation we demonstrate high photosensitivity to both a cw beam as well as nanosecond laser pulse with only 1 s relaxation of light-induced changes in material properties. Even faster, 1 ms restoration time is obtained for azo dye molecules containing hetaryl (benzothiazole) ring with enhanced push-pull π-π conjugation. These materials respond most efficiently to pulsed excitation while discriminating cw radiation.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(160.4890) Materials : Organic materials
(190.0190) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics
(260.5130) Physical optics : Photochemistry

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: February 23, 2010
Revised Manuscript: March 22, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: March 28, 2010
Published: April 9, 2010

Uladzimir A. Hrozhyk, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Landa Hoke, Diane M. Steeves, and Brian R. Kimball, "Azobenzene liquid crystalline materials for efficient optical switching with pulsed and/or continuous wave laser beams," Opt. Express 18, 8697-8704 (2010)

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