Abstract

A liquid crystal blazed grating having a prismatic polymer microstructure has been developed. The polymer structure is fabricated by photo-induced localization and polymerization of a small concentration of monomer onto one substrate of an electro-optical cell by using ultraviolet light irradiation at 45° direction from normal incident. Using this method a periodical one-dimensional pattern with a prismatic shape of polymer can be formed on a one-dimensional pattern-forming state of a cholesteric host. The optical diffraction properties of the grating are evaluated by the application of electric field and light incident angles.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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Appl. Opt. (3)

Appl. Optics (1)

S. Masuda, S. Takahashi, T. Nose, S. Sato and H. Ito, �??Liquid crystal microlens with a beam-steering function,�?? Appl. Optics, 36, 4772-4778 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

C. V. Brown, Em. E. Kriezis, S. J. Elston, �??Optical diffraction from a liquid crystal phase grating,�?? J. Appl. Phys. 91, 3495-3500 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Liq. Cryst. (2)

K. Hirabayashi and T. Kurokawa, �??Liquid crystal devices for optical communication and information processing systems,�?? Liq. Cryst. 14, 307-317 (1993).
[CrossRef]

S. N. Lee, S. Sprunt, L. C. Chien, �??Morphology-dependent Switching of Polymer-Stabilized Cholesteric Gratings,�?? Liq. Cryst. 28, 637 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Macromolecules (1)

S. W. Kang, S. Sprunt, L. C. Chien, �??Photoinduced Localization of Orientationally Ordered Polymer Networks at the Surface of a Liquid Crystal Host,�?? Macromolecules 35, 9372 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Eng. (1)

P. F. McManamon, E. A. Watson, T. A. Dorschner, L. J. Barnes, �??Applications look at the use of liquid crystal writable gratings for steering passive radiation,�?? Opt. Eng. 32, 2657-2664 (1993).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(a) The picture depicts the helix rotation with respect to the surface rubbing directions of alignment layers and the formation of one-dimensional pattern from a cholesteric liquid crystal. Black arrows display rubbing direction and Blue lines on the top substrate represent the stripe direction after director reorientation by the applied field. (b) The schematic illustration of the UV polymerization apparatus with a 45-degree slantwise irradiation and the formation polymer grating after UV-induced polymerization.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(a) The POM image of the sample formed with UV irradiation at a 45-degree incident angle from normal reveals one-dimensional polymer stripes after the removal of liquid crystal. A gradient of dark and bright pattern is observed. The stripes follow the rubbing direction (the black arrows represent the rubbing directions of the top and bottom alignment layers) and the grating period is 10µm. (b) The SEM image corroborates the prismatic grating polymer microstructure.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Optical diffraction patterns of the blazed-grating sample under different magnitude of applied field.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

The beam deflection angle of the -1st order as a function of incident angle for the 45-degree blazed grating sample. The maximum difference of diffraction angles from the ±53° incident directions of the He-Ne laser beam is 32.8%.

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