We have analyzed the physical origins of the temperature gradient of the ordinary refractive index (dno
/ dT ) of liquid crystals. To achieve a large dno
/ dT , high birefringence and low clearing temperature play crucial roles. Based on these simple guidelines, we formulated two exemplary liquid crystal mixtures, designated as UCF-1 and UCF-2, and compared their physical properties with a commonly used commercial liquid crystal compound 5CB. The dno
/ dT of UCF-1 is ~4X higher than that of 5CB at room temperature.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
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