Experiments and analysis of combined diffraction and self diffraction effects in a nematic liquid crystal cell

S.J. Elston, David J. Webb, L. Solymar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The potential for nonlinear optical processes in nematic-liquid-crystal cells is great due to the large phase changes resulting from reorientation of the nematic-liquid-crystal director. Here the combination of diffraction and self-diffraction effects are studied simultaneously by the use of a pair of focused laser beams which are coincident on a homeotropically aligned liquid-crystal cell. The result is a complicated diffraction pattern in the far field. This is analyzed in terms of the continuum theory for liquid crystals, using a one-elastic-constant approximation to solve the reorientation profile. Very good comparison between theory and experiment is obtained. An interesting transient grating, existing due to the viscosity of the liquid-crystal material, is observed in theory and practice for large cell-tilt angles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1181
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993

Keywords

  • nonlinear optical processes
  • nematic-liquid-crystal cells
  • nematic-liquid-crystal director
  • diffraction
  • self-diffraction
  • laser beams
  • diffraction pattern
  • continuum theory
  • liquid crystals
  • reorientation profile
  • transient grating
  • viscosity
  • cell-tilt angles

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