From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2015
Blue phase liquid crystals (BPLCs) are self-assembled 3D photonic crystals exhibiting high susceptibility to external stimuli. Two methods for the photonic bandgap tuning of BPs were demonstrated in this work. Introducing a chiral azobenzene into a cholesteric liquid crystal could formulate a photoresponsive BPLC. Under violet irradiation, the azo dye experiences trans-cis isomerization, which leads to lattice swelling as well as phase transition in different stages of the process. Ultrawide reversible tuning of the BP photonic bandgap from ultraviolet to near infrared has been achieved. The tuning is reversible and nonvolatile. We will then demonstract the electric field-induced bandgap tuning in polymer-stabilized BPLCs. Under different BPLCs material preparation conditions, both red-shift and broadening of the photonic bandgaps have been achieved respectively. The stop band can be shifted over 100 nm. The bandwidth can be expanded from ~ 30 nm to ~ 250 nm covering nearly the full visible range. It is believed that the developed approaches could strongly promote the use of BPLC in photonic applications.
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