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Proceedings Paper

Survey of switchable lasing configurations using structures of liquid crystal and polymer dispersions
Author(s): Scott J. Woltman; Matthew E. Sousa; Hailiang Zhang; Gregory P. Crawford
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Paper Abstract

We investigate the fabrication of holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystals (H-PDLCs) for use as switchable laser cavities. H-PDLCs are liquid crystal and polymer dispersions used in grating applications for displays, optical communications and optical security. By controlling the pitch of the H-PDLC and the laser dye used, we are able to fabricate a tunable laser. H-PDLCs were made in both reflection and transmission modes to vary the method by which lasing action occurs. The dye-doped H-PDLCs were pumped with nanosecond pulses from a laser with emission at 532 nm and a power of approximately 6 mJ. Lasing action was observed using a spectrometer from the H-PDLC grating; peak wavelengths occurred over a range of wavelengths, depending on the dye used, with the full width of the emission peaks approximately 6-8 nm at half maximum. The lasing action can be turned on and off by the application and removal of an electric field due to the properties of an H-PDLC. Furthermore, we investigate multidimensional architectures and quasicrystal symmetries for lasing applications. Applications for these cells include use in small-scale portable devices requiring a tunable laser source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6135, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications XI, 61350B (23 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.645247
Show Author Affiliations
Scott J. Woltman, Brown Univ. (United States)
Matthew E. Sousa, Brown Univ. (United States)
Hailiang Zhang, Scientific Solutions, Inc. (United States)
Gregory P. Crawford, Brown Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6135:
Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications XI
Liang-Chy Chien, Editor(s)

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