We report the observation of polarization-independent photochromic diffraction in an azo-dye-doped liquid crystal. The generation of the phase grating is more than 90% independent of the polarization of the writing beams, and the diffraction by the phase grating is more than 90% independent of the polarization of the probe beam. Unpolarized lamp light was also used to generate real-time phase gratings and self-diffraction. For the first time to our knowledge, photochromic phase modulation and light diffraction that exhibit more than 90% polarization independence for both writing and probe beams were produced in an anisotropic liquid-crystalline material.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials
Yong-Jing Wang, Manlin Pei, and Gene O. Carlisle, "Polarization-independent photochromic diffraction in a dye-doped liquid crystal," Opt. Lett. 28, 840-842 (2003)