Abstract

We reexamine the optical reorientation of a homeotropic nematic-liquid-crystal film under finite beam-size excitation and linear polarization. We study the case of normal and oblique incidence (extraordinary wave). Under the most basic assumptions (geometrical optics approximation, elastic isotropy) we systematically analyze the dependence of transverse nonlocal effects as a function of the angle of incidence, the beam size, and the intensity. Besides recovering some well-known results (Fréedericksz transition threshold and spatial extension of the molecular reorientation as a function of the beam size), we identify a series of nonmonotonous behaviors of the material response as well as shape variations of the reorientation profiles.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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