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In this paper we demonstrate photonic band-edge laser emission from emulsion-based polymer dispersed liquid crystals. The lasing medium consists of dye-doped chiral nematic droplets dispersed within a polymer matrix that spontaneously align as the film dries. Such lasers can be easily formed on single substrates with no alignment layers. The system combines the self-organizing periodic structure of chiral nematic liquid crystals with the simplicity of the emulsion procedure so as to produce a material that retains the emission characteristics of band-edge lasers yet can be readily coated. Sequential and stacked layers demonstrate the possibility of achieving simultaneous multi-wavelength laser output from glass, metallic, and flexible substrates. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
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