Publication Title

Physical Review E

Publication Date

2-2009

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevE.79.021701

Keywords

aqueous urea solutions, polarization dependence, reorientation

Disciplines

Physics

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.

Comments

Copyright 2009 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.79.021701.


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