A figure of merit (FoM), defined as the ratio of Kerr constant to response time, is used to characterize and compare the electro-optic performance of polymer-stabilized blue phase liquid crystals (BPLCs). Increasing the dielectric anisotropy of LC host enhances Kerr constant and lowers the operation voltage, but its associated high viscosity dramatically increases the response time. As a result, the FoM may not be necessarily higher. For a given BPLC device, an optimal temperature exists where FoM reaches maximum. The proposed FoM provides useful guidelines for optimizing BPLCs for display and photonic applications.
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