Laser-pointer-induced self-focusing effect in hybrid-aligned dye-doped liquid crystals
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 6 May 2015|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Nonlinear optics deals with phenomena where "light controls light"; e.g., there is mediation by an intensity-dependent medium through which light propagates. This field has attracted much attention for its immense potential in applications dependent on nonlinear processes, such as frequency conversion, multiple-photon absorption, self-phase modulation, and so on. However, such nonlinearities are typically only observed at very high light intensities and thus they require costly lasers. Here, we report on a self-focusing effect induced with a 1 mW handheld laser pointer. We prepared polymer-stabilized dye-doped liquid crystals, in which the molecular director orientation gradually changes from homeotropic at one surface to homogeneous at the other. This is referred to as hybrid alignment. In such films, the threshold intensity needed to form diffraction rings was reduced by a factor of 8.5 compared to that in conventional homeotropic cells, which enabled the induction of the self-focusing effect with a laser pointer.