Volume 58, Number 5, June 2002
|Page(s)||679 - 685|
|Section||Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics|
|Published online||01 May 2002|
Switchable Bragg diffraction from liquid crystal in colloid-templated structures
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of
Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-6396, USA
2 Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies - Murray Hill, NJ 07974, USA
3 Physics Department and DEAS, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Accepted: 6 March 2002
We have incorporated nematic liquid crystal into periodic, polymer host structures templated from self-assembled colloids. Using these composite materials, we demonstrate the first electrically switchable three-dimensional Bragg diffraction. The switchable beam deflection is potentially useful for non-mechanical beam steering and optical beam splitting devices. We compare the electro-optic response of our templated liquid-crystal/polymer composites with conventional polymer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs). Our data reveal a qualitatively different and faster response for liquid crystal distributed within a connected cavity network, as compared to isolated liquid-crystal droplets within a polymer matrix.
PACS: 47.20.Dr – Surface-tension-driven instability / 61.30.Pq – Microconfined liquid crystals: droplets, cylinders, randomly confined liquid crystals, polymer dispersed liquid crystals, and porous systems / 82.70.Dd – Colloids
© EDP Sciences, 2002
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