We experimentally demonstrate fast flexoelectro-optic switching in a liquid crystal cell containing bimesogen-doped and polymer-stabilized cholesteric. The device exhibits a response time of less than 0.7 ms and with low hysteresis and color dispersion which is suitable for potential applications including field-sequential color displays.
Cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) self-assemble into a periodic supramolecular helical structure with properties of a one-dimensional photonic crystal. The CLCs doped with a fluorescent dye and optical pump enable a distributed feedback cavity and lasing . Although lasing was observed in range of wavelength from near UV to near IR, a practical method of tuning of emission wavelength from a dye-doped CLC without structural destruction of a helix is not demonstrated yet.
In this work, we demonstrate an electrically tunable dye-doped CLC laser based on the so-called oblique helicoidal, or heliconical, CLC state [2,3]. In this state, the molecules twist around the helicoidal axis, making an angle smaller than 90 degrees with the axis. Molecular tilt makes the heliconical structure different from the regular CLC (in which the molecules are perpendicular to the axis) and enable electric tunability [2,3]. An electric field applied parallel to the heliconical axis changes the pitch but does not realign the axis. When the field increases, the pitch decreases. As a result, the selective reflection band and a lasing wavelength move towards shorter wavelength. Using heliconical CLC and two laser dyes DCM and LD688, we demonstrate effective tuning of the laser emission wavelength from 574 nm to 722 nm. With appropriate laser dyes, the spectrum can be extended from near UV to near IR. Efficient electric tuning in the broad spectral range and small size of the heliconical cholesteric lasers makes them potentially useful for optical and biomedical applications.
 P. Palffy-Muhoay, W.Y. Cao, M. Moreira, B. Taheri, A. Munoz, Photonics and lasing in liquid crystal
 J. Xiang, S.V. Shiyanovskii, C.T. Imrie, O.D. Lavrentovich, Electrooptic Response of Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystals with Oblique Helicoidal Director, Phys Rev Lett, 112 (2014) 217801.
 J. Xiang, Y.N. Li, Q. Li, D.A. Paterson, J.M.D. Storey, C.T. Imrie, O.D. Lavrentovich, Electrically Tunable Selective Reflection of Light from Ultraviolet to Visible and Infrared by Heliconical Cholesterics, Adv Mater, 27 (2015) 3014-3018.
Cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) with a specific confinement conditions are known to form bubble domain (BD) texture. We have developed the CLC BD texture stabilized with a small amount of polymer. CLC bubbles of a BD texture self-assemble into domains with a hexagonal ordering and optically perform as a diffraction grating. By stabilization of the BD texture with a polymer we have improved optical quality of the diffractive CLC layer and have increased its mechanical stability. We discuss details about samples preparation, Bragg diffraction, electro-optical performance and present results of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) morphological study of the polymer network formed in the bulk of the diffractive liquid crystal layer.
In this work, cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) laser emission from two different liquid crystal hosts doped with the same laser dye was studied. For both systems, the lasing thresholds were measured and the energy output was studied at different pump energies and at different temperatures. When the pump energy was increased, a shift of lasing wavelength and a decrease of emission in one sample were observed. We argue that this phenomenon is associated with thermal degradation of the distributed-feedback cavity caused by laser heating and the temperature induced changes of the cholesteric pitch.