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Abstract

A review of the field of photorefractive liquid crystals is presented. The first reports of photorefractive liquid crystals occurred in 1994, and the performance of these materials has dramatically improved since that time. Liquid crystalline materials have proven to be highly versatile, showing photorefractive character under a wide range of conditions. For example, new composites based on high-molar-mass liquid crystals are now capable of forming volume (Bragg) gratings with high photorefractive gain coefficients of >600 cm−1. Formation times for photorefractive Bragg gratings of 15 ms with applied fields of only 0.1 V/μm have been reported. Low-molar-mass liquid crystals continue to be developed and show their largest photorefractive character in the thin (Raman-Nath) grating regime. Composites of nonmesogenic polymers and liquid crystals are also discussed. The experiments and theoretical work that have been used to characterize these materials are reviewed.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.matsci.31.1.139
2001-08-01
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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