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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 9 — Apr. 26, 2010
  • pp: 9651–9657

Optically switchable, rapidly relaxing cholesteric liquid crystal reflectors

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


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 9, pp. 9651-9657 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.009651


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Abstract

Reversible, fast, all-optical switching of the reflection of a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) is demonstrated in a formulation doped with push-pull azobenzene dyes. The reflection of the photosensitive CLC compositions is optically switched by exposure to 488 and 532 nm CW lasers as well as ns pulsed 532 nm irradiation. Laser-directed optical switching of the reflection of the CLC compositions occurs rapidly, within a few hundred milliseconds for the CW laser lines examined here. Also observed is optical switching on the order of tens of nanoseconds when the CLC is exposed to a single nanosecond pulse with 0.2 J/cm2 energy density. The rapid cis-trans isomerization typical of push-pull azobenzene dye is used for the first time to rapidly restore the reflection of the CLC from a photoinduced isotropic state within seconds after cessation of light exposure.

© 2010 OSA

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

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

History
Original Manuscript: February 23, 2010
Revised Manuscript: March 19, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: March 28, 2010
Published: April 23, 2010

Citation
Uladzimir A. Hrozhyk, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning, "Optically switchable, rapidly relaxing cholesteric liquid crystal reflectors," Opt. Express 18, 9651-9657 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-9-9651


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