Abstract

Optical switching based on waveguide optics with a ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) is reported. The FLC cell was prepared as a prism coupler on which the liquid-crystal layer was sandwiched between two gold cladding layers. The role of the gold layer was examined, and the optimum thickness of the top gold layer for obtaining high contrast was determined by use of the Fresnel equation. Various optical modulations of reflectivity were predicted on the basis of theoretical calculation, taking into account the molecular reorientation of the FLC, and examined at an appropriate angle of incidence and rotational angle of the FLC cell with respect to the plane of incidence.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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