Abstract

Ferroelectric liquid crystals can be optimized for speed, but such materials tend to have small switching angles and consequently low contrast in the smectic A* phase. We describe a method whereby such a low-contrast but fast-switching effect can be enhanced, in theory giving the same contrast as a material with a switching angle of 22.5°. This method therefore promises liquid-crystal modulators of high contrast and with speeds of the order of hundreds of nanoseconds. The theoretical basis of this method and initial results that support this analysis are presented.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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