OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 25 — Dec. 16, 2013
  • pp: 30233–30242

Lasing and waveguiding in smectic A liquid crystal optical fibers

Karthik Peddireddy, V. S. R. Jampani, Shashi Thutupalli, Stephan Herminghaus, Christian Bahr, and Igor Muševič  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 25, pp. 30233-30242 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (2605 KB) | SpotlightSpotlight on Optics

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We demonstrate a new class of soft matter optical fibers, which are self-assembled in a form of smectic-A liquid crystal microtubes grown in an aqueous surfactant dispersion of a smectic-A liquid crystal. The diameter of the fibers is highly uniform and the fibers are highly birefringent. They are characterized by a line topological defect in the core of the fiber with an optical axis pointing from the defect core towards the surface. We demonstrate guiding of light along the fiber and Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) lasing in a plane perpendicular to the fiber. The light guiding as well as the lasing threshold are significantly dependent on the polarization of the excitation beam. The observed threshold for WGM lasing is very low (≈ 75μJ/cm2) when the pump beam polarization is perpendicular to the direction of the laser dye alignment and is similar to the lasing threshold in nematic droplets. The smectic-A fibers are soft and flexible and can be manipulated with laser tweezers demonstrating a promising approach for realization of soft photonic circuits.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(230.7400) Optical devices : Waveguides, slab
(140.3948) Lasers and laser optics : Microcavity devices
(230.4555) Optical devices : Coupled resonators
(130.5460) Integrated optics : Polymer waveguides

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2013
Revised Manuscript: November 20, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: November 20, 2013
Published: December 2, 2013

Virtual Issues
December 16, 2013 Spotlight on Optics

Karthik Peddireddy, V. S. R. Jampani, Shashi Thutupalli, Stephan Herminghaus, Christian Bahr, and Igor Muševič, "Lasing and waveguiding in smectic A liquid crystal optical fibers," Opt. Express 21, 30233-30242 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. M. Humar, M. Ravnik, S. Pajk, and I. Muševič, “Electrically tunable liquid crystal optical microresonators,” Nat. Photonics3, 595–600 (2009). [CrossRef]
  2. M. Humar and I. Muševič, “3D microlasers from self-assembled cholesteric liquid-crystal microdroplets,” Opt. Express18, 26995–27003 (2010). [CrossRef]
  3. D. J. Gardiner, S. M. Morris, P. J. W. Hands, C. Mowatt, R. Rutledge, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, “Paintable band-edge liquid crystal lasers,” Opt. Express19, 2432–2439 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. G. Cipparrone, A. Mazzulla, A. Pane, R. J. Hernandez, and R. Bartolino, “Chiral self-assembled solid microspheres: A novel multifunctional microphotonic device,” Adv. Mat.23, 5773–5778 (2011). [CrossRef]
  5. M. Humar and I. Muševič, “Surfactant sensing based on whispering-gallery-mode lasing in liquid-crystal microdroplets,” Opt. Express19, 19836–19844 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. W. Bogaerts, P. de Heyn, T. van Vaerenbergh, K. De Vos, S. K. Selvaraja, T. Claes, P. Dumon, P. Bienstman, D. van Thourhout, and R. Baets, “Silicon microring resonators,” Laser Photonics Rev.6, 47–73 (2012). [CrossRef]
  7. Di Liang and J. E. Bowers, “Recent progress in lasers on silicon,” Nat. Photonics4, 511–517 (2010). [CrossRef]
  8. V. S. R. Jampani, M. Humar, and I. Muševič, “Resonant transport of light from planar polymer waveguide into liquid-crystal microcavity,” Opt. Express21, 20506–20516 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. Y. Iwashita, S. Herminghaus, R. Seemann, and Ch. Bahr, “Smectic membranes in aqueous environment,” Phys. Rev. E81, 051709 (2010). [CrossRef]
  10. L. Reissig, D. J. Fairhurst, J. Leng, M. E. Cates, A. R. Mount, and S. U. Egelhaaf, “Three-Dimensional Structure and Growth of Myelins,” Langmuir26, 15192–15199 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. K. Peddireddy, P. Kumar, S. Thutupalli, S. Herminghaus, and Ch. Bahr, “Solubilization of Thermotropic Liquid Crystal Compounds in Aqueous Surfactant Solutions,” Langmuir28, 12426–12431 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. H. Stark, “Physics of colloidal dispersions in nematic liquid crystals,” Phys. Rep.351, 387–476 (2001). [CrossRef]
  13. K. Peddireddy, P. Kumar, S. Thutupalli, S. Herminghaus, and Ch. Bahr, “Myelin structures formed by thermotropic smectic liquid crystals,” submitted to Langmuir.
  14. I. I. Smalyukh, S. V. Shiyanovskii, and O. D. Lavrentovich, “Three-dimensional imaging of orientational order by fluorescence confocal polarizing microscopy,” Chem. Phys. Lett.336, 88–96 (2001). [CrossRef]
  15. U. Tkalec, M. Škarabot, and I. Muševič, “Interactions of micro-rods in a thin layer of a nematic liquid crystal,” Soft Matter4, 2402–2409 (2008). [CrossRef]
  16. H. Tajalli, A. Ghanadzadeh Gilani, M. S. Zakerhamidi, and P. Tajalli, “The photophysical properties of Nile red and Nile blue in ordered anisotropic media,” Dyes and Pigments78, 15–24 (2008). [CrossRef]
  17. Ch. Maurer, A. Jesacher, S. Furhapter, S. Bernet, and M. Ritsch-Marte, “Tailoring of arbitrary optical vector ¨ beams,” New. J. Phys.9, 78 (2007). [CrossRef]
  18. E. Brasselet, N. Murazawa, H. Misawa, and S. Joudkazis, “Optical vortices from liquid crystal droplets,” Phys. Rev. Lett.103, 103903 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. K. J. Vahala, “Optical microcavities,” Nature424, 839–846 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. S. M. Spillane, T. J. Kippenberg, O. J. Painter, and K. J. Vahala, “Ideality in a fiber-taper-coupled microresonator system for application to cavity quantum electrodynamics,” Phys. Rev. Lett.91, 043902 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. V. D. Ta, R. Chen, L. Ma, Y. J. Ying, and H. D. Sun, “Whispering gallery mode microlasers and refractive index sensing based on single polymer fiber,” Laser Photonics Rev.7, 133139 (2013).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited