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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)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.030233


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Abstract

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

History
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

Citation
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)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-25-30233


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