Development of Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals with Enhanced Nonlinear Optical Properties
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
A new class of nonlinearly active materials has been developed: x(2) ferroelectric liquid crystals (x(2) FLCs). This class has several advantages over other classes of materials such as crystals or poled photochromic polymers. FLCs readily form low-light-loss polar films of any thickness; no poling is necessary; the FLC nonlinear susceptibility is intrinsically thermodynamically stable; and FLC optical nonlinearity can be engineered by chemical synthesis or mixing. X(2) FLC films formed into low-light-loss waveguides can be used in devices such as low half-wave electro-optic modulators, frequency doublers, and high-gain optical parametric amplifiers. During Phase I, we will blend new mixtures from x(2)-enhanced liquid crystal monomers synthesized at Displaytech and the University of Colorado and measure their frequency doubling coefficient deff of X-1.06um light at Lawrence Livermore National Lab or their electro-optic modulation coefficient r. Anticipated values for deff exceed 2pm/V, while anticipated values for r exceed 20 pm/V. To reduce temperature sensitivity, light loss, dielectric loss, and possible drive field dependence of x(2)-FLCs, we will also investigate x(2)-FLC polymeric and dipolar glass systems. In Phase II, optimized x(2) FLCs will be synthesized, characterized, and incorporated into first generation waveguide devices such as electrooptic modulators and near infrared diode laser frequency doublers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Kenneth Edmund Arnett
2200 Central Avenue Boulder, CO 80301
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