Optical recording in a ferroelectric liquid crystal using smectic layer rotation induced by the application of asymmetric voltage pulses has been proposed. This recording method is based on the temperature dependence of the rotation rate and the fact that the rate in the smectic A (SmA) phase is considerably smaller than that in the chiral smectic C (SmC*) phase. The transition from the SmC* to the SmA phase can be induced by the photothermal effect. The application of asymmetric voltage pulses during partial laser irradiation results in the patterning of the layer alignment. This recording method can erase and invert the stored pattern and can handle gray-level patterns.

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