Liquid crystal technology can be applied to the development of alternatives to devices currently used in large high peak power laser systems. This paper explores two such alternatives. One is the use of nematic liquid crystal compounds in place of standard crystalline materials such as quartz and mica, as large aperture waveplates. The other is the use of selective reflection exhibited by the cholesteric class of liquid crystals to construct circular polarizer/optical isolators. The principles of operation, fabrication details, and performance data for both applications are presented.
Stephen D. Jacobs,
"Liquid Crystals As Large Aperture Waveplates And Circular Polarizers", Proc. SPIE 0307, Polarizers and Applications, (17 May 1982); doi: 10.1117/12.965913; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.965913