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Opt Express. 1999 May 24;4(11):432-42.

Extremely nonlinear photosensitive liquid crystals for image sensing and sensor protection.


Optically induced nematic liquid crystal axis reorientation results in extraordinarily large nonlinear refractive index changes that could find practical applications in conjunction with cw or long-pulse lasers. We discuss the origins of these nonlinearities, and present the results of recent experimental studies of image conversion, optical limiting and sensor protection using aligned dye-doped nematic liquid crystal films in all-optical configurations. These processes are characterized by unprecedented low threshold laser powers, thus presenting nonlinear photosensitive nematic liquid crystals as promising next generation image processing and optical switching/limiting material.

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