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Proceedings Paper

Effect of pump efficiency on lasing in dye-doped chiral nematic liquid crystals
Author(s): Carrie Gillespie; Stephen M. Morris; Harry James Coles
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of varying the pump efficiency of dye-doped chiral nematic liquid crystal lasers, through the dependence on absorption efficiency. Two dyes from the rhodamine subset of the xanthene family (rhodamine B and rhodamine 6G) with similar chemical properties but different absorption and emission spectra have been compared for a fixed pumping wavelength (532nm). Each dye was dissolved in E49 (a commercial nematic mixture from Merck NB-C) and the resulting mixtures characterised in terms of their absorption and laser induced fluorescence spectra. A high twisting power chiral dopant (BDH1281, also from Merck NB-C) was used to induce 1-D photonic band gaps with the high and low energy edges corresponding to the fluorescence maximum for each dye. Laser action was induced in the resulting four mixtures and typical laser parameters such as slope efficiency and threshold energy were examined for each one. The results indicate that the mixtures doped with rhodamine 6G had an absolute absorption ~ 57% greater than those doped with rhodamine B. Rhodamine 6G-doped mixtures therefore had the highest pump efficiency and lased more than 6 times more efficiently then those doped with rhodamine B. We believe that the performance of rhodamine 6G is also influenced by its greater degree of alignment with the liquid crystal host and a possible input energy dependence of the quantum efficiency of the dyes (indicated by the fluorescence characteristics of the achiral dye-doped mixtures). Further experimentation is needed to determine exactly which parameters are responsible for the superior performance of rhodamine 6G in chiral nematic lasers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5741, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.593126
Show Author Affiliations
Carrie Gillespie, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Stephen M. Morris, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Harry James Coles, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5741:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies
Liang-Chy Chien, Editor(s)

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