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Optical Materials Express

Optical Materials Express

  • Editor: David J. Hagan
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 5 — Sep. 1, 2011
  • pp: 943–952

Nonlinear optical properties of fast, photoswitchable cholesteric liquid crystal bandgaps

Uladzimir A. Hrozhyk, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning  »View Author Affiliations

Optical Materials Express, Vol. 1, Issue 5, pp. 943-952 (2011)

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The reflection and transmission properties of photosensitized cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) are examined. Introduction of mesogenic push-pull azobenzene dyes into blue and green reflective CLCs enables fast (sub-second), photoswitchable optical properties due to the overlap of the trans and cis absorption states. Upon irradiation with CW blue-green laser radiation, the bandgap reflection is erased in a fraction of a second and reversibly restored approximately one second after the blue-green laser radiation is removed. Given the strong overlap of the trans and cis absorption maxima, we believe that repeated trans-cis and cis-trans isomerization cycles induced with irradiation lead to a destruction of the ordered LC phase. The sensitivity to the irradiating wavelength scales with the wavelength-dependent absorption of the mesogenic push-pull dye. A detailed examination of the transmitted and reflected laser beams are presented as a function of power and wavelength of CW sources.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(260.5130) Physical optics : Photochemistry

ToC Category:
Liquid Crystals

Original Manuscript: July 8, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 24, 2011
Published: August 16, 2011

Uladzimir A. Hrozhyk, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning, "Nonlinear optical properties of fast, photoswitchable cholesteric liquid crystal bandgaps," Opt. Mater. Express 1, 943-952 (2011)

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