28 August 2015 Optical switching of nematic liquid crystal film arising from induced electric field of localized surface plasmon resonance
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Abstract
We have developed an all-optical method to control the in- and out-of-plane spatial orientation of nematic liquid crystal (NLC) molecules by leveraging the highly localized electric fields produced in the near-field regime of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) layers. A 1-2 micron thick NLC film is deposited on a close-packed drop-cast AuNP layer, excited with tunable optical sources and the transmission of white light through it analyzed using polarization optics as a function of incident light wavelength, excitation power and sample temperature. Our findings, supported by simulations using discrete-dipole approximations, establish the optical switching effect to be repeatable, reversible, spectrally-selective, operational over a broad temperature range, including room temperature, and requiring very small on-resonance excitation intensity (0.3 W/cm2). For the case of the in-plane switching we have additionally demonstrated that controlling the incident excitation polarization can continuously vary the alignment of the NLC molecules, allowing for grayscale transmission.
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Makiko T. Quint, Makiko T. Quint, Silverio Delgado, Silverio Delgado, John H. Paredes, John H. Paredes, Linda S. Hirst, Linda S. Hirst, Sayantani Ghosh, Sayantani Ghosh, } "Optical switching of nematic liquid crystal film arising from induced electric field of localized surface plasmon resonance", Proc. SPIE 9547, Plasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties XIII, 954729 (28 August 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186197; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2186197
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