Abstract

A ferrodispersion, which comprises micrometer-sized magnetizable spheres dispersed in a ferrofluid, is shown to store retrievable optical energy. It is observed that when such dispersion is subjected to a transverse magnetic field and a linearly polarized monochromatic light with its electric vector perpendicular to the applied field is incident on it, then for a critical static magnetic field of moderate intensity the emerging light disappears. Upon removing the light and then switching off the field, again light of the same frequency and same state of polarization reappears. A time delay between emission of the light and switching off the field is observed. The statistical distribution of this delay is reported. Intensity of the retrieval signal is found to depend on the storage time. This effect is investigated. Storing and retrieval of optical energy will be useful for developing a magnetically tunable optical capacitor.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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