Abstract

Owing to their complex physical structures and various inter- and intramolecular correlations, liquid crystals can exist in several mesophases. Consequently their nonlinear optical properties are also very complex, with nonlinearity ranging in several orders in magnitudes and response times.1,2 This paper presents a detailed experimental study and analysis of the nonlinear optical response of a chiral nematic liquid crystal mixture, along with a demonstration of optical limiting effects. The mixture is composed of four chiral nematics with chemical structures as illustrated in Fig. 1. In a previous conjugation and pulse compression study3 the mixture was shown to be highly nonlinear compared to other nematic liquid crystals.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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