Lowering the excitation threshold of a random laser using the dynamic scattering states of an organosiloxane smectic A liquid crystal

Stephen M. Morris, Damian J. Gardiner, Malik M. Qasim, Philip J. W. Hands, Timothy D. Wilkinson, Harry J. Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Smectic A liquid crystals, based upon molecular structures that consist of combined siloxane and mesogenic moieties, exhibit strong multiple scattering of light with and without the presence of an electric field. This paper demonstrates that when one adds a laser dye to these compounds it is possible to observe random laser emission under optical excitation, and that the output can be varied depending upon the scattering state that is induced by the electric field. Results are presented to show that the excitation threshold of a dynamic scattering state, consisting of chaotic motion due to electro-hydrodynamic instabilities, exhibits lower lasing excitation thresholds than the scattering states that exist in the absence of an applied electric field. However, the lowest threshold is observed for a dynamic scattering state that does not have the largest scattering strength but which occurs when there is optimization of the combined light absorption and scattering properties. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3681898]

Original languageEnglish
Article number033106
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physics
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012

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