Abstract

Uniform alignment of ferroelectric liquid-crystal domains encapsulated by a polymer binder was established through a holographic exposure process. The refractive index modulation in these thin films is modeled as a phase grating that can be electrically addressed to erase the optical diffractive properties. A phenomenological model is developed to take into account a distribution of domain sizes and an effective field that stabilizes the ferroelectric liquid-crystal domains. A diffraction model successfully predicts changes in normalized intensities for first-order diffraction with applied field. These gratings demonstrate microsecond-scale response and relaxation times for various grating pitch sizes between 3 and 12μm.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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