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Adaptive, surface-assisted permanent gratings in nematic liquid crystals

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The orientation of liquid crystal molecules is determined by both light-induced bulk and surface mediated effects1,2,3. Doping liquid crystals with dyes increases their light sensitivity and lowers the intensity threshold for molecular reorientation4,5. The main mechanisms involved6,7 in the reorientation process are: optical and dye-induced torques, photorefractive space-charge field, photoisomerisation and phototransformation of dye molecules and their adsorption on the cell surfaces8. In cells with polymer coated substrates, adsorption of phototransformed dye molecules can give rise to permanent alignment of molecules1,7. In cells with blocking and insulating layers, quasi-permanent gratings can be recorded and their diffraction modulated with electric field9. However, patterns3 written in cells without special coating of the cell surfaces typically decay over a period of a few hours10.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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