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Proceedings Paper

High efficiency liquid crystal lasers giving "white light" emission from arrays and flexible substrates
Author(s): Stephen M. Morris; Harry J. Coles
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Paper Abstract

The self-organization of the helical structure of chiral nematic liquid crystals combined with their sensitivity to electric fields makes them particularly interesting for low-threshold, wavelength tunable laser devices. We have studied these organic lasers in detail, ranging from the influence specific macroscopic properties, such as birefringence and order parameter, have on the output characteristics, to practical systems in the form of two-dimensional arrays, double-pass geometries and paintable lasers. Furthermore, even though chiral nematics are responsive to electric fields there is no facile means by which the helix periodicity can be adjusted, thereby allowing laser wavelength tuning, without adversely affecting the optical quality of the resonator. Therefore, in addition to studying the liquid crystal lasers, we have focused on finding a novel method with which to alter the periodicity of a chiral nematic using electric fields without inducing defects and degrading the optical quality factor of the resonator. This paper presents an overview of our research, describing (i) the correlation between laser output and material properties,(ii) the importance of the gain medium,(iii) multicolor laser arrays, and (iv) high slope efficiency (>60%) silicon back-plane devices. Overall we conclude that these materials have great potential for use in versatile organic laser systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 2011
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7955, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VI, 79550D (19 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881792
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen M. Morris, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Harry J. Coles, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7955:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VI
Liang-Chy Chien; Hiroshi Yokoyama, Editor(s)

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