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

Fingerprint

Nematic Liquid Crystal
Liquid Crystal
Diffraction
liquid crystals
Cell
cells
diffraction
Experiment
Coincident
Elastic Constants
Phase Change
retraining
Tilt
Far Field
Laser Beam
Gratings
Viscosity
Continuum
Angle
far fields

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

Cite this

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title = "Experiments and analysis of combined diffraction and self diffraction effects in a nematic liquid crystal cell",
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.",
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",
author = "S.J. Elston and Webb, {David J.} and L. Solymar",
year = "1993",
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pages = "1172--1181",
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Experiments and analysis of combined diffraction and self diffraction effects in a nematic liquid crystal cell. / Elston, S.J.; Webb, David J.; Solymar, L.

In: Physical Review E, Vol. 48, No. 2, 08.1993, p. 1172-1181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Elston, S.J.

AU - Webb, David J.

AU - Solymar, L.

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AB - 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.

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