We fabricated a switchable phase grating utilizing a ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) mixed with a photocurable liquid crystal using a simple one-step process, i.e., photoirradiation to a uniformly aligned FLC cell through a photomask. A fast response of the order of 1ms was demonstrated for the switching process between the nonswitched and the fully switched states. The polarization dependence emerges during the switching of molecules, although the polarization independence is achieved in fully switched states. In the switching process, molecules cooperatively rotate on a cone; i.e., they tilt with respect to the layer normal and change the azimuthal angle. Based on this switching model, the diffraction was simulated in the framework of the Jones matrix and diffraction theory. The simulation reproduced the characteristics experimentally observed.

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