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11 October 2012 Liquid crystal gratings from nematic to blue phase
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Some of our recent progress on liquid crystal (LC) gratings, from nematic to blue phase, is reviewed in this invited talk. The first kind of grating is fabricated by periodically adjusting the LC directors to form alternate micro phase retarders and polarization rotators in a cell placed between crossed polarizers. The second one is demonstrated by means of photoalignment technique with alternate orthogonal homogeneously-aligned domains. To improve the response time of the gratings, several approaches are also proposed by using dual-frequency addressed nematic LC, ferroelectric LC and blue phase LC, which shows great performance including high transmittance, polarization independency and submillisecond response. At last, to obtain other controllable LC microstructures rather than simple 1D/2D gratings, we develop a micro-lithography system with a digital micro-mirror device as dynamic mask forms. It may instantly generate arbitrary micro-images on photoalignment layers and further guides the LC molecule orientations. Besides normal phase gratings, more complex patterns such as quasicrystal structures are demonstrated. Some new applications such as tunable multiport optical switching and vector beam generations are expected.
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Yan-qing Lu, Wei Hu, Xiao-wen Lin, Abhishek Srivastava, and Vladimir G. Chigrinov "Liquid crystal gratings from nematic to blue phase", Proc. SPIE 8475, Liquid Crystals XVI, 84750Q (11 October 2012);

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