Abstract

We present simulations of a novel liquid-crystal-based electro-optical device that enables a switching effect owing to a backreflection phenomenon. In the simulations, we exploit the optical properties of a liquid-crystal layer with a Freédericksz alignment in an unconventional way. The resulting switching effect of the proposed optical design can be controlled by means of an external electric field. Possible applications of the liquid-crystal device can be found in, but are not restricted to, optical communication systems and lighting applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. P. J. Collings and M. Hird, Introduction to Liquid Crystals: Chemistry and Physics (Taylor & Francis, 1997).
    [CrossRef]
  2. M. Sluijter, D. K. G. de Boer, and J. J. M. Braat, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 1260 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  3. J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
    [CrossRef]

2008 (1)

2005 (1)

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Beeckman, J.

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Braat, J. J. M.

Cambournac, C.

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Collings, P. J.

P. J. Collings and M. Hird, Introduction to Liquid Crystals: Chemistry and Physics (Taylor & Francis, 1997).
[CrossRef]

de Boer, D. K. G.

Haelterman, M.

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Hird, M.

P. J. Collings and M. Hird, Introduction to Liquid Crystals: Chemistry and Physics (Taylor & Francis, 1997).
[CrossRef]

Hutsebaut, X.

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Neyts, K.

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Sluijter, M.

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (1)

Opt. Quantum Electron. (1)

J. Beeckman, K. Neyts, X. Hutsebaut, C. Cambournac, and M. Haelterman, Opt. Quantum Electron. 37, 95 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Other (1)

P. J. Collings and M. Hird, Introduction to Liquid Crystals: Chemistry and Physics (Taylor & Francis, 1997).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Freédericksz alignment of a liquid-crystal layer applied between two parallel glass plates, separated by a distance h. The director is rotated by an angle θ in the direction of the electric field E.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Ray paths of extraordinary rays for four different values of V r . In (a), V r = 1 . Here, the liquid crystal is homogeneous and the ray path is a straight line. In (b)–(d), V r increases to 1.0062, 1.0252, and 1.1803, respectively. The ray paths are oscillatory, and the period decreases with increasing V r .

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Liquid-crystal layer applied between two ideal parallel mirrors, separated by a distance h. In (a), V ( x ) V th and d ̂ = ( 1 , 0 ) . In (b), V ( x ) = V th + x L ( V b V th ) , where L = 150 is the total length of the optical system and V b > V a .

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

In (a), the ray path of the extraordinary light ray (TM mode) is depicted inside the liquid-crystal layer as defined in Fig. 3a. In (b), the angle of reflection ϕ of the ray path is constant, and eventually, the ray leaves the system at x = 150 .

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

In (a), the ray path of the extraordinary light ray (TM mode) is depicted inside the liquid-crystal layer as defined in Fig. 3b. From (b), we conclude that the angle of reflection ϕ decreases along the ray path: the direction of propagation is reversed, and the light ray leaves the system at x = 0 .

Equations (3)

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V = 2 K ( m ) K 11 ε 0 Δ ε ,
d r ( τ ) d τ = p H e ( d ̂ ) ,
d p e ( τ ) d τ = r H e ( d ̂ ) ,

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