Abstract

We report the observation of polarization-independent photochromic diffraction in an azo-dye-doped liquid crystal. The generation of the phase grating is more than 90% independent of the polarization of the writing beams, and the diffraction by the phase grating is more than 90% independent of the polarization of the probe beam. Unpolarized lamp light was also used to generate real-time phase gratings and self-diffraction. For the first time to our knowledge, photochromic phase modulation and light diffraction that exhibit more than 90% polarization independence for both writing and probe beams were produced in an anisotropic liquid-crystalline material.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. P. Günter and J. P. Huignard, Photorefractive Materials and Their Applications (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988, 1989), Vols. 1 and 2.
    [CrossRef]
  2. W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  3. K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  4. M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  5. Y.-J. Wang and G. O. Carlisle, J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. 13, 173 (2002).
  6. U. Gubler, D. Wright, W. E. Moerner, and M. B. Klein, Opt. Lett. 27, 354 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  7. I. C. Khoo, Liquid Crystals: Physical Properties and Nonlinear Optical Phenomena (Wiley Intersceicne, New York, 1995).
  8. J. W. Doane, in Liquid Crystals: Applications and Uses, B. Bahadur, ed. (World Scientific, Singapore, 1990), pp. 205–257.
  9. E. H. Stupp, M. S. Brennesholtz, and M. Brenner, Projection Displays (Wiley, New York, 1998).
  10. A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
    [CrossRef]

2002 (2)

Y.-J. Wang and G. O. Carlisle, J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. 13, 173 (2002).

U. Gubler, D. Wright, W. E. Moerner, and M. B. Klein, Opt. Lett. 27, 354 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2001 (1)

M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1998 (1)

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1991 (2)

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Anderle, K.

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Bastiaansen, C.

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Brenner, M.

E. H. Stupp, M. S. Brennesholtz, and M. Brenner, Projection Displays (Wiley, New York, 1998).

Brennesholtz, M. S.

E. H. Stupp, M. S. Brennesholtz, and M. Brenner, Projection Displays (Wiley, New York, 1998).

Carlisle, G. O.

Y.-J. Wang and G. O. Carlisle, J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. 13, 173 (2002).

M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Doane, J. W.

J. W. Doane, in Liquid Crystals: Applications and Uses, B. Bahadur, ed. (World Scientific, Singapore, 1990), pp. 205–257.

Gibbons, W. M.

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Gubler, U.

Günter, P.

P. Günter and J. P. Huignard, Photorefractive Materials and Their Applications (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988, 1989), Vols. 1 and 2.
[CrossRef]

Huignard, J. P.

P. Günter and J. P. Huignard, Photorefractive Materials and Their Applications (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988, 1989), Vols. 1 and 2.
[CrossRef]

Khoo, I. C.

I. C. Khoo, Liquid Crystals: Physical Properties and Nonlinear Optical Phenomena (Wiley Intersceicne, New York, 1995).

Klein, M. B.

Moerner, W. E.

Montali, A.

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Pei, M.

M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Rirenheide, R.

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Shannon, P. J.

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Smith, P.

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Stupp, E. H.

E. H. Stupp, M. S. Brennesholtz, and M. Brenner, Projection Displays (Wiley, New York, 1998).

Sun, S.

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Swetlin, B. J.

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Wang, Y.-J.

Y.-J. Wang and G. O. Carlisle, J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. 13, 173 (2002).

M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Weder, C.

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Wendorff, J. H.

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Werner, M. J. A.

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Wright, D.

J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. (1)

Y.-J. Wang and G. O. Carlisle, J. Master Sci. Mater. Electron. 13, 173 (2002).

Liq. Cryst. (1)

K. Anderle, R. Rirenheide, M. J. A. Werner, and J. H. Wendorff, Liq. Cryst. 9, 691 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Nature (2)

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, Nature 351, 49 (1991).
[CrossRef]

A. Montali, C. Bastiaansen, P. Smith, and C. Weder, Nature 392, 261 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Eng. (1)

M. Pei, Y.-J. Wang, and G. O. Carlisle, Opt. Eng. 40, 1481 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (1)

Other (4)

P. Günter and J. P. Huignard, Photorefractive Materials and Their Applications (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988, 1989), Vols. 1 and 2.
[CrossRef]

I. C. Khoo, Liquid Crystals: Physical Properties and Nonlinear Optical Phenomena (Wiley Intersceicne, New York, 1995).

J. W. Doane, in Liquid Crystals: Applications and Uses, B. Bahadur, ed. (World Scientific, Singapore, 1990), pp. 205–257.

E. H. Stupp, M. S. Brennesholtz, and M. Brenner, Projection Displays (Wiley, New York, 1998).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the LC cell and optical geometry. E1, E2, 532-nm writing beams with their polarization parallel the x axis. The internal crossing angle, θ, was 0.48°. G, glass substrate; ITO, indium tin oxide coating; S, polymidie surface; LC, helical structure of the cholesteric phase. Diffracted beams lie in the yz plane. The polarizations of the writing beams were rotated, together, about the z axis, and the power of the first-order diffracted beam was measured as a function of rotation angle.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Polarized absorption spectra for the cell and molecular structures of MR. Curves a and b were obtained with the optical fields parallel and perpendicular, respectively, to the rubbing directions.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Michelson interferometer used to obtain both polarized and unpolarized diffraction measurements: UHP, high-intensity discharge lamp; L1, condensing lens; F, interference filter; A, aperture; L2, collimating lens; M1, mirror mounted upon a rotation stage; B, beam splitter; M2, mirror mounted upon a translation stage; S, sample.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

First-order self-diffraction signals versus time. These data were taken with the interferometer setup described in Fig. 3. The light beam was unblocked at 0.24. Curve a was obtained for unpolarized writing beams; curves b and c were obtained with the writing beams polarized parallel and perpendicular, respectively, to the rubbing direction.

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