Europhys. Lett.
Volume 62, Number 5, June 2003
Page(s) 698 - 704
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 01 May 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00429-5
Europhys. Lett., 62 (5) , pp. 698-704 (2003)

Light-induced dichroism and birefringence in dye-doped glycerin

I. Jánossy1 and E. Benkler1, 2

1  Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics - Budapest, Hungary
2  Institute for Applied Physics, Darmstadt University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany

(Received 8 January 2003; accepted in final form 7 April 2003)

In this paper cw laser-induced dichroism and birefringence measurements are reported in azo-dye-doped glycerin at temperatures below -40 $\un{{}^\circ C}$. The presence of the dye, in combination with the slow rotational mobility of the molecules, leads to a huge enhancement of the optical Kerr effect, compared to what is observed in pure transparent liquids. In the experiments, significant optical anisotropy could be generated at pump intensities as low as 10 $\un{mW/mm^{2}}$. Evidence is presented that the birefringence signal originates in a large part from the ordering of the host molecules. The orientational order of the solvent molecules is attributed to the guest-host interaction between the azo dye and the glycerin molecules.

42.70.-a - Optical materials.
78.20.-e - Optical properties of bulk materials and thin films.
42.70.Gi - Light-sensitive materials.

© EDP Sciences 2003