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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 13 — Jul. 1, 2013
  • pp: 15765–15776

Optically tunable/switchable omnidirectionally spherical microlaser based on a dye-doped cholesteric liquid crystal microdroplet with an azo-chiral dopant

Jia-De Lin, Meng-Hung Hsieh, Guan-Jhong Wei, Ting-Shan Mo, Shuan-Yu Huang, and Chia-Rong Lee  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 13, pp. 15765-15776 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.015765


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Abstract

This paper presents an optically wavelength-tunable and intensity-switchable dye-doped cholesteric liquid crystal (DDCLC) spherical microlaser with an azo-chiral dopant. Experimental results present that two functions of optical control — tunability of lasing wavelength and switchability of lasing intensity — can be obtained for this spherical microlaser at low and high intensity regimes of non-polarized UV irradiation, respectively. If the DDCLC microdroplet is subjected to weak UV irradiation, azo-chiral molecules may transform to the bent cis state at a low concentration rate. The effect can slightly decrease the local order of LCs and thus the helical twisting power of the CLC in the microdroplet. As a result, the CLC pitch may become slightly elongated, which will cause the gradual red-shift of both omnidirectional PBG and lasing emission of the DDCLC spherical microdroplet. In contrast, when the microdroplet is subjected to strong UV irradiation, numerous azo-chiral molecules may simultaneously change to bent cis-isomers to seriously disarrange the helical texture of the CLC, which will quickly deform the PBG and deactivate the lasing emission of the microdroplet. Prolonged irradiation of a blue beam after strong UV irradiation may cause the cis azo-chiral molecules quickly convert back rod-like trans-isomers, which may then regenerate the CLC Bragg onion and PBG structures and reactivate the lasing emission of the microdroplet. Optical control of the DDCLC spherical microlaser is realized on a scale of seconds and minutes when UV irradiation is strong and weak, respectively. The 3D DDCLC spherical microlaser is a highly promising controllable 3D micro-light source or microlaser (e.g., all-optical 3D single photon microlaser) for applications of 3D all-optical integrated photonics, laser displays, and biomedical imaging and therapy, and as a 3D UV microdosagemeter or microsensor.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.1150) Optical devices : All-optical devices
(230.1480) Optical devices : Bragg reflectors
(160.1585) Materials : Chiral media
(140.3945) Lasers and laser optics : Microcavities

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

History
Original Manuscript: April 30, 2013
Revised Manuscript: June 10, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: June 17, 2013
Published: June 25, 2013

Citation
Jia-De Lin, Meng-Hung Hsieh, Guan-Jhong Wei, Ting-Shan Mo, Shuan-Yu Huang, and Chia-Rong Lee, "Optically tunable/switchable omnidirectionally spherical microlaser based on a dye-doped cholesteric liquid crystal microdroplet with an azo-chiral dopant," Opt. Express 21, 15765-15776 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-13-15765


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