Red-green-blue 2D tuneable liquid crystal laser devices

H. J. Coles, S. M. Morris, A. D. Ford, P. J. W. Hands, T. D. Wilkinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


In this paper, we review our recent experimental work on coherent and blue phase liquid crystal lasers. We will present results on thin-film photonic band edge lasing devices using dye-doped low molar mass liquid crystals in self-organised chiral nematic and blue phases. We show that high Q-factor lasers can be achieved in these materials and demonstrate that a single mode output with a very narrow line width can be readily achievable in well-aligned mono-domain samples. Further, we have found that the performance of the laser, i.e. the slope efficiency and the excitation threshold, are dependent upon the physical parameters of the low molar mass chiral nematic liquid crystals. Specifically, slope efficiencies greater than 60% could be achieved depending upon the materials used and the device geometry employed. We will discuss the important parameters of the liquid crystal host/dye guest materials and device configuration that are needed to achieve such high slope efficiencies. Further we demonstrate how the wavelength of the laser can be tuned using an in-plane electric field in a direction perpendicular to the helix axis via a flexoelectric mechanism as well as thermally using thermochromic effects. We will then briefly outline data on room temperature blue phase lasers and further show how liquid crystal/lenslet arrays have been used to demonstrate 2D laser emission of any desired wavelength. Finally, we present preliminary data on LED/incoherent pumping of RG liquid crystal lasers leading to a continuous wave output.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationLiquid Crystals XIII
EditorsIC Khoo
Place of PublicationBellingham
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-7704-0
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2009
EventSPIE Optics & Photonics - San Diego, United States
Duration: 2 Aug 20096 Aug 2009


ConferenceSPIE Optics & Photonics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Lasers
  • light emitting diodes
  • Liquid crystal lasers
  • liquid crystals
  • thin films


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