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Switchable Bragg Gratings Formed in Situ Within a Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal Composite Medium

  • R. L. Sutherland (a1), L. V. Natarajan (a1), T. J. Bunning (a1), V. P. Tondiglia (a1) and W. W. Adams (a2)...

Abstract

Holographic photo-curing of a penta-acrylate monomer-liquid crystal mixture forms a unique system of liquid crystal microdomains confined to Bragg planes. We examine the physics of this structure as it relates to the formation of electrically switchable holograms, for which many potential applications exist. The results of scanning electron microscopy and laser characterization studies lead to the development of concepts and models for explaining the microscopic morphology and electro-optical properties of these holograms. We find that a model incorporating a shaped-droplet analysis of the electro-mechanical properties of LC domains combined with standard coupled-wave theory of holography offers good numerical agreement with diffraction efficiency data for ppolarized probe light.

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