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Keywords:

  • Lasing;
  • Liquid crystals, cholesteric;
  • Photonic crystals

Lasing via a phase retardation defect mode is reported for the first time. The Figure shows the far-field pattern of laser emission realized by inserting an anisotropic nematic liquid crystal (LC) defect layer between polymer cholesteric LC layers. The system mimics the cuticle of Plusiotis resplendens, a beetle, using the birefringence of the anisotropic layer to achieve reflectance greater than the 50 % provided by simple cholesteric LC photonic bandgaps.