Abstract

We have obtained polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal (PDLC) films by using poly(methyl methacrylate) and the nematic liquid crystal E7 in a solvent-induced phase separation method. The optical transmission of the PDLC sample is modulated by application to the sample of a control voltage from a reaction block, which electronically sums a feedback signal, an ac electric signal from an ac generator, and a dc bias voltage; the resultant signal is proportional to the output optical power detected by a photomultiplier. Because the PDLC film also exhibits a quadratic electro-optic effect (Kerr effect), which depends on the control voltage, multistability is experimentally obtained. The conditions for obtaining a differential gain and hysteresis are also theoretically analyzed; good agreement with the experimental results is observed.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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