Deformation-Free, Microsecond Electro-Optic Tuning of Liquid Crystals




Fast (∼10 μs) and deformation-free electro-optic tuning of a liquid crystal is reported, achieved by macroscopic alignment and switching of nanosized, pseudo-nematic domains. The tuning mode can be achieved by photopolymerizing a mesogenic monomer–liquid crystal mixture in the liquid crystal phase, and forming nanosized pores in the polymer matrix. This concept is particularly effective in liquid crystals with spontaneous structure-forming capabilities: here this concept is applied to a cholesteric liquid crystal and demonstrate scatter-free tuning of the Bragg reflection band. It can also lead to new device applications such as thin-film optical amplitude modulators and linear polarization rotators.