Proceedings PaperLiquid crystal lasers
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Photonic band edge lasers based on cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) have attracted considerable interest as selfassembled, tunable, microscopic, coherent light sources. We discuss several ways to improve the lasing performance: lasing threshold and slope efficiency can both be improved by stabilizing the liquid crystalline order to suppress heatinduced distortions during the pumping process. This can be achieved either by photo-crosslinking reactive mesogens, or by applying an electric field along the helical axis of a CLC with negative dielectric anisotropy. Defect mode lasing with exceptionally low lasing threshold can be easily achieved with polymeric systems by insertion of a phase jump in the chiral molecular order. Finally, electrical fine tuning of the laser emission by application of an in-plane electric field electric field will be discussed.