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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Nematic topological line defects as optical waveguides
Author(s): Miha Čančula; Miha Ravnik; Slobodan Žumer

Paper Abstract

Liquid crystals are starting to attract attention for applications beyond the display technology. Their high birefringence, softness, and possibility to form complex topological defect structures allow for easy light manipulation in systems ranging from cholesteric lasers to droplet resonators and wave guides. Recent interest in light-induced topological defects and light propagation along the defects stimulated us to develop a customized version of the Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method for solving Maxwell's equations on a discrete time and space lattice. Here, we present an overview of our recent simulations, modeling the time-evolution of electromagnetic fields along birefringent structures in nematic liquid crystals, specifically light propagation along nematic defect lines. In the regime of high light intensity beams the modelling approach includes also a light induced modification of local nematic ordering obtained via a qtensor free energy minimization procedure. We show how topological invariants of the nematic and polarization fields combine and also affect the beam intensity profile. Finally, off-axis propagation of beams with respect to the defect lines is considered.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9384, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies X, 938402 (11 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079096
Show Author Affiliations
Miha Čančula, Univ. of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Miha Ravnik, Univ. of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Slobodan Žumer, Univ. of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9384:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies X
Liang-Chy Chien; Harry J. Coles; Hirotsugu Kikuchi; Ivan I. Smalyukh, Editor(s)

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