Combined electric and photocontrol of selective light reflection at an oblique helicoidal cholesteric liquid crystal doped with azoxybenzene derivative

Kamal Thapa, Olena S. Iadlovska, Hari Krishna Bisoyi, Daniel A. Paterson, John M.D. Storey, Corrie T. Imrie, Quan Li, Sergij V. Shiyanovskii, Oleg D. Lavrentovich* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An oblique helicoidal cholesteric liquid crystal represents a unique optical material with a single-harmonic periodic modulation of the refractive index and a pitch that can be tuned by an electric or magnetic field in a broad range from submicrometers to micrometers. In this work, we demonstrate that the oblique helicoidal cholesteric doped with azoxybenzene molecules can be tuned by both the electric field and light irradiation. The tuning mechanism is explained by the kinetics of trans-cis photoisomerization of the azoxybenzene molecules. At a fixed voltage, UV irradiation causes a redshift of the reflection peak by more than 200 nm. The effect is caused by an increase of the bend elastic constant of under irradiation. The demonstrated principle has the potential for applications such as smart windows, sensors, tunable lasers, and filters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044702
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume104
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2021

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