From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2016
The manipulation and processing of light beams can be efficiently accomplished through devices based on soft matter placed in a hybrid “symbiosis” with other organic or inorganic, photoresponsive materials. The performance of such smart modulating systems often relies on a subtle balance between individual properties of each component, together with the varying interaction between organic and inorganic elements.
Some promising demonstrations in the visible as well as in the THz regimes include liquid crystals integrated with plasmonic or ferroelectric nanoparticles, photoconductive or photosensitive polymers as well as metamaterials. They offer adaptive, flexible and tailor-made solutions for applications in displays and optoelectronics, switching, steering and modulating electromagnetic waves.
Hybrid configurations that include multiple photoresponsive layers, sandwiched with liquid crystals, led to stronger modulation and steering of light beams in the visible. Such effects can also be observed in the other regions of spectrum, as inorganic nanoparticles dispersed in liquid crystals modify the magnitude of the material refractive indices measured in THz.
The development of such hybrid materials has to be accompanied by comprehensive characterisation of their uniformity, stability and optical quality across the whole surface of the device, capable of determining their optical, electrical and physical parameters.
Malgosia Kaczmarek, Giampaolo D'Alessandro, and Matthew B. Proctor, "Hybrid liquid crystals: Enhanced electro-optic and nonlinear response for manipulating beams
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9940, Liquid Crystals XX, 99400L (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 29, 2016; Published: 2 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236925.5167077747001.
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