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Self-induced negative refraction in nematic liquid crystals

Self-induced negative refraction in nematic liquid crystals
Self-induced negative refraction in nematic liquid crystals
Negative refraction in optics is a fascinating phenomenon stemming from peculiar boundary conditions and momentum conservation at a dielectric interface. In natural dielectrics it can only be observed in anisotropic media, where the incident and refracted Poynting vectors can lay in the same half-plane with respect to normal incidence [1]. Due to their high (usually positive) anisotropy, nematic liquid crystals (NLC) [2] are ideal media where negative refraction can be observed; moreover, their optical reorientational response allows to tune both linear and nonlinear properties in the non-perturbative regime, exploiting the torque exerted on the field-induced molecular dipoles [3]. In NLC the optic axis is defined by the molecular director, i.e. the average orientation of molecular long axes; if we consider a beam impinging on the NLC sample, as for a positive uniaxial, the Poynting vector always lays in between the director and the wave vector. In the highly nonlinear regime, the torque can be strong enough to rotate the director and modify the linear properties [4]; the director rotation causes a redirection of the Poynting vector and, if the reorientation is large enough, the refracted beam can be steered in the same half-plane of the incident beam, i.e. undergo negative refraction.
Optical Society of America
Piccardi, A.
d6f1bc7d-56df-4fc3-81a3-274ea851dda3
Alberucci, A.
596b5409-8db7-4cd7-acb4-f91eeb124f80
Kravets, N.
74534f01-dc18-4f9e-b6c7-2b5f2e735559
Buchnev, O.
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Assanto, G.
82bad7ad-e3cb-4b22-b43b-b179f2451e49
Piccardi, A.
d6f1bc7d-56df-4fc3-81a3-274ea851dda3
Alberucci, A.
596b5409-8db7-4cd7-acb4-f91eeb124f80
Kravets, N.
74534f01-dc18-4f9e-b6c7-2b5f2e735559
Buchnev, O.
60cdb0d2-3388-47be-a066-61b3b396f69d
Assanto, G.
82bad7ad-e3cb-4b22-b43b-b179f2451e49

Piccardi, A., Alberucci, A., Kravets, N., Buchnev, O. and Assanto, G. (2015) Self-induced negative refraction in nematic liquid crystals. In Proceedings 2015 European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics - European Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2015. Optical Society of America..

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Negative refraction in optics is a fascinating phenomenon stemming from peculiar boundary conditions and momentum conservation at a dielectric interface. In natural dielectrics it can only be observed in anisotropic media, where the incident and refracted Poynting vectors can lay in the same half-plane with respect to normal incidence [1]. Due to their high (usually positive) anisotropy, nematic liquid crystals (NLC) [2] are ideal media where negative refraction can be observed; moreover, their optical reorientational response allows to tune both linear and nonlinear properties in the non-perturbative regime, exploiting the torque exerted on the field-induced molecular dipoles [3]. In NLC the optic axis is defined by the molecular director, i.e. the average orientation of molecular long axes; if we consider a beam impinging on the NLC sample, as for a positive uniaxial, the Poynting vector always lays in between the director and the wave vector. In the highly nonlinear regime, the torque can be strong enough to rotate the director and modify the linear properties [4]; the director rotation causes a redirection of the Poynting vector and, if the reorientation is large enough, the refracted beam can be steered in the same half-plane of the incident beam, i.e. undergo negative refraction.

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More information

Published date: 25 June 2015
Venue - Dates: 2015 European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics: CLEO®/Europe-EQEC 2015, Munich, Germany, 2015-06-21 - 2015-06-25

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430841
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430841
PURE UUID: 9f18bcd4-1631-4ab1-a435-7164f6d213c8

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Date deposited: 16 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 10 Jun 2019 16:30

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