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

Elston, S.J.; Webb, David J. and Solymar, L. (1993). Experiments and analysis of combined diffraction and self diffraction effects in a nematic liquid crystal cell. Physical review E, 48 (2), pp. 1172-1181.

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.

Uncontrolled 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
Published Date: 1993-08

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