It is shown that optical-electrical feedback can transform the Freedericksz transition in a nematic film from second order to first order. The criteria that indicate whether the Freedericksz transition is first or second order are obtained. The hysteresis accompanying the first-order transition versus the feedback intensity is discussed. The feedback-induced first-order Freedericksz transition has been observed experimentally. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical analysis.
© 1987 Optical Society of America
Peng-ye Wang, Hong-jun Zhang, and Jian-hua Dai, "Feedback-induced first-order Freedericksz transition in a nematic film," Opt. Lett. 12, 654-656 (1987)