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17 August 2010 Slow-light birefringence and high precision polarization interferometry in liquid crystal light-valves
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Abstract
Liquid crystals are characterized by a strong anisotropy of their physical properties, which is at the origin of their high birefringence. By performing two-wave mixing experiments in a liquid crystal light-valve, we show that the anisotropic nature of the beam coupling occurring in the liquid crystal layer leads to a slow-light birefringence phenomenon, that is, orthogonal polarization states of the input pulse travel at very different group velocities. Such a slow-light birefringence effect comports a large difference in the group index for the ordinary and the extraordinary wave. The resulting high contrast of the group index can be exploited for realizing a common-path polarization interferometer working at enhanced sensitivity, where very small phase variations can be efficiently detected.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stefania Residori, Umberto Bortolozzo, and Jean-Pierre Huignard "Slow-light birefringence and high precision polarization interferometry in liquid crystal light-valves", Proc. SPIE 7775, Liquid Crystals XIV, 77750X (17 August 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.861391
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