Studies of the influence of an electric field E on the effective refractive index of a polymer-stabilized blue phase in the near infrared spectral range reveal a considerable field-induced birefringence. At moderate voltages, the birefringence increases linearly with the square of the field strength as expected for the electro-optic Kerr effect, with an effective Kerr constant of K ≈ 6.3 – 6.9 × 10−10 m V−2. However, for E > ≈7.3 V/μm, the slope of the field-induced birefringence versus E2 increases abruptly, before saturation is reached at E > ≈8.5 V/μm. Based on previous observations on blue phases in the visible wavelength range, the discontinuous change can be attributed to a field-induced phase transition. A modification of the extended Kerr model introduced by Wu and coworkers is suggested to take this additional effect into account. In addition to the promising properties of blue phases for improved liquid crystal displays, the observed field-induced birefringence in the infrared region opens interesting perspectives for telecommunication and other non-display applications.
Near infrared Kerr effect and description of field-induced phase transitions in polymer-stabilized blue phase liquid crystals
B. Atorf, H. Rasouli, G. Nordendorf, D. Wilkes, H. Kitzerow; Near infrared Kerr effect and description of field-induced phase transitions in polymer-stabilized blue phase liquid crystals. Appl. Phys. Lett. 22 February 2016; 108 (8): 081107. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4942604
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