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Proceedings Paper

Liquid crystals for optical non-display applications
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Paper Abstract

Liquid crystals (LCs) demonstrate a number of unusual physical properties and effects that so far has been explored mainly for LC display (LCD) applications. This presentation discusses aspects of LCs that lead to the new opportunities in non-LCD applications, such as biosensors, micro- and opto-fluidics, switchable metamaterials. A LC is a unique medium for colloidal particles as it responds to the presence of inclusions by altering the orientation of LC molecules and thus the optic axis. The effect can be used in real-time sensing of microbes, as the molecular reorientation is easily detectable by optical means. Symmetry breaking associated with director distortions around inclusions in LCs enables a new mechanism of nonlinear electrophoresis. In the liquid-crystal enabled electrophoresis (LCEEP), the velocity of particle grows with the square of the applied field. The feature allows one to use an AC driving, to create steady flows and to move uncharged particle. The trajectory of particle is not necessarily parallel to the electric field and can be controlled by the director configuration. A gradient electric field can be used to align metallic nanorods into ordered LC-like birefringent structures with spatially varying refractive index; the latter represents a switchable medium for transformation optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8482, Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES), 84820D (11 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928054
Show Author Affiliations
Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Kent State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8482:
Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES)
Akhlesh Lakhtakia; Judith Ann Todd, Editor(s)

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