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Electrically tunable refractive index in the dark conglomerate phase of a bent-core liquid crystal

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Article number021903
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Physics Letters
Volume104
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished
Early online date13/01/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Here we report an electrically tunable refractive index observed in an isotropic liquid crystal phase known as the dark conglomerate (DC) phase. This unusual change in the refractive index which has not been reported before in the DC phase of other bent-core liquid crystals occurs because of a series of electric-field-driven transformations that take place in the DC phase of the studied bent-core liquid crystal. These transformations give rise to a decrease in the refractive index of the system, when an electric field is applied across the device, and no change in the birefringence is seen during such behavior. The electro-optic phenomenon is described in detail and the possibility of exploiting this for a number of liquid crystal based device applications is discussed.