Nonphotochemical laser-induced nucleation of nematic phase and alignment of nematic director from a supercooled thermotropic liquid crystal

Xiaoying Sun, Bruce Garetz, Michele F. Moreira, Peter Palffy-Muhoray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A nonphotochemical laser-induced phase transition was studied in a supercooled 4′ n -pentyl-4-cyanobiphenyl (5CB, also referred to as PCB and K15) liquid crystal, using linearly polarized 45 ps light pulses at a wavelength of 532 nm. The laser induced nucleation from the metastable supercooled isotropic phase to the nematic phase during slow cooling (0.001 °C min) and high light intensity (3.9 MW cm2). The resulting nematic director tended to be aligned along the direction of the plane of polarization of the light. At the intensities used, there is no observable laser-induced realignment of the director once the sample is in the nematic phase, nor any permanent laser-induced ordering when the sample is illuminated only in the stable isotropic phase during slow cooling. These experimental results are consistent with a mechanism based on optical Kerr alignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021701
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2 2009

Fingerprint

Supercooled Liquid
Nucleation
Liquid Crystal
Alignment
liquid crystals
alignment
nucleation
Laser
lasers
Cooling
Optical Alignment
cooling
polychlorinated biphenyls
Light Intensity
luminous intensity
Polarization
Phase Transition
Linearly
Wavelength
Experimental Results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability

Cite this

Nonphotochemical laser-induced nucleation of nematic phase and alignment of nematic director from a supercooled thermotropic liquid crystal. / Sun, Xiaoying; Garetz, Bruce; Moreira, Michele F.; Palffy-Muhoray, Peter.

In: Physical Review E, Vol. 79, No. 2, 021701, 02.02.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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