Abstract

An optical field influences the orientation of a nematic liquid crystal, which gives rise to a nonlinear optical response. This is analyzed in the high speed limit where the elastic forces are insignificant compared with the viscous forces. An optimum liquid path length of ~0.1 mm is predicted from light scattering theory. The nonlinearity is characterized by a diffraction efficiency ∝ (write energy)2/(viscosity)2 at the optimum path length. The optimum path length and, therefore, diffraction efficiency are shown to increase with suppression of scattering by a voltage pulse prior to the optical pulse.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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