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Proceedings Paper

Spatially resolved optical and electro-optic properties of electroclinic liquid crystals
Author(s): James R. Lindle; Steven R. Flom; Filbert J. Bartoli; Ranganathan Shashidhar; Banahalli R. Ratna; Gregory P. Crawford
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Paper Abstract

Chiral smectic A (Sm A) liquid crystals are of increasing interest because of their potential for fast analog electro-optic modulation. Chiral smectic A liquid crystals, when viewed between crossed polarizers, exhibit distinctive periodic stripe domains due to a voltage dependent deformation (kink) of the bookshelf geometry. These stripe domains reduce the contrast ratio of electro-optic devices employing these materials. This paper describes a novel optical technique to probe spatial variations in the optical properties of liquid crystals with micron resolution. The effect of the stripe formation on the electro-optic properties of a electroclinic Sm A liquid crystal, denoted as KN125, is investigated. The electric field induced stripe domains were experimentally characterized by measuring the transmission of KN125, interposed between crossed polarizers. A sharply focused visible cw laser beam was translated across the sample with one-micron resolution. A quasi periodic modulation of the transmission due to stripe deformation of the bookshelf geometry was observed. measurements performed within a single stripe and between adjacent stripes permitted an independent determination of the true optical tilt angle and the kink angle. The electric field dependence of the optical tilt angle for the KN125 liquid crystal is reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 1995
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2408, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Displays, (24 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207526
Show Author Affiliations
James R. Lindle, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Steven R. Flom, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Filbert J. Bartoli, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Ranganathan Shashidhar, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Banahalli R. Ratna, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Gregory P. Crawford, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2408:
Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Displays
Ranganathan Shashidhar; Uzi Efron, Editor(s)

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