Invited Review Paper

[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 21, No. 2 (2014) 99-109]
© 2014 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Photorefractive Effect in Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals

Takeo SASAKI and Yumiko NAKA

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Tokyo University of Science, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan

(Received October 29, 2013; Accepted December 29, 2013)

In this paper, we review recent progress of research on the photorefractive effect of ferroelectric liquid crystals. The photorefractive effect is a phenomenon that forms a dynamic hologram in a material. The interference of two laser beams in a photorefractive material establishes a refractive index grating. This phenomenon is applicable to a wide range of devices related to diffraction optics including 3D displays, optical amplification, optical tomography, novelty filters, and phase conjugate wave generators. Ferroelectric liquid crystals are considered as a candidate for practical photorefractive materials. A refractive index grating formation time of 8–10 ms and a large gain coefficient are easily obtained in photorefractive ferroelectric liquid crystals.

Key words: photorefractive effect, organic compounds, ferroelectric liquid crystals, two beam coupling, dynamic hologram


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