Abstract

A new type of ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) is considered, where the reorientation of the director (main optical axes) at the interaction of an electric field with the FLC’s spontaneous polarization is due to the movement of spatially localized waves with a stationary profile: solitons arise at the transition due to the Maxwellian mechanism of energy dissipation. Under certain conditions, the appearance of such waves leads to the formation of a structure of transient domains, and as a consequence, to the scattering of light. The Maxwellian mechanism of energy dissipation allows one to reduce the electric field strength at which the maximum efficiency of light scattering is achieved down to 2–3 V/μm and to increase the frequency of light modulation up to 3–5 kHz. Intensive bistable light scattering in an electro-optical cell filled with a specially designed helix-free FLC was studied, and a stable scattering state can be switched on and off for a few tens of microseconds and memorized for a few tens of seconds.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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