Abstract

We have studied the degradation process of the laser emission in a cholesteric liquid crystal laser. We have found that there exists a negative correlation between the laser efficiency and the amount of light scattered by the liquid-crystal sample in the illuminated area. The growth of scattering is attributed to the appearance of small imperfections generated in the sample as a result of certain thermal processes that involve the dye molecules. The scattering implies an increase of the coefficient of distributed losses, which is the main response of the rise of the laser threshold.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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