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All-optical switching and multistability in photonic structures with liquid crystal defects

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3 Author(s)
Miroshnichenko, A.E. ; Nonlinear Physics Center and Center for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia ; Brasselet, E. ; Kivshar, Yuri S.

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We demonstrate that one-dimensional photonic crystals with pure nematic liquid-crystal defects can operate as all-optical switching devices based on optical orientational nonlinearities of liquid crystals. We show that such a periodic structure is responsible for a modulated threshold of the optical Fréedericksz transition in the spectral domain, and this leads to all-optical switching and light-induced multistability. This effect has no quasistatics electric field analog, and it results from nonlinear coupling between light and a defect mode.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 25 )