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Novel Glassy Nematic Liquid Crystals for Non-destructive Rewritable Optical Memory and Photonic Switching


  • The authors thank Professor Lewis J. Rothberg of the University of Rochester and Professor Masahiro Irie of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan for helpful discussions. They are grateful for the financial support provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant CTS-0204827 and CTS-9818234, the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, administered by the Army Research Office, under DAAD19-01-1-0676, and the Department of Energy Office of Inertial Confinement Fusion under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC03-92SF19460 with the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The support of DOE does not constitute an endorsement by DOE of the views expressed in this article.


Dithienylethene-containing glassy nematic liquid crystals (see Figure) have been synthesized, in which the dithienylethene core’s electronic transition moment is uniaxially aligned. Large changes in refractive index and optical birefringence could be induced in the solid state by photochemical means. Applications in non-destructive rewritable optical memory and high-speed photonic switches are envisaged.

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