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Optical nonlinearity in the nematic phase of bent-core mesogens

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Abstract

Nonlinear optical response of the cybotactic nematic phase of a bent-core mesogen has been investigated for the first time through self-phase modulation induced by a Gaussian beam. The material exhibits a high nonlinear response achieving a nonlinear index n25×105cm2/W and an unconventional behavior characterized by two different regimes. While the high-intensity regime can be easily explained in terms of a thermal indexing effect, the low-intensity regime is metastable and characterized by an unusual dependence on the irradiation energy. It is suggested that a change of the director configuration, possibly due to a light-induced modification of surface anchoring, is responsible for the observed behavior.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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