Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, Vol.453, 141-153, 2006
Substrate induced pre-tilt in hybrid liquid crystal/inorganic photorefractives
We report on the photorefractive properties of nematic liquid crystals sandwiched between windows of cerium doped strontium barium niobate (Ce:SBN). Unlike simple glass substrates, the Ce:SBN induces molecular pre-tilts that generate electric dipole moments in the liquid crystal through the flexoelectric effect. This enables the liquid crystal to become sensitive to the sign of the space-charge field and leads to an increase in the optical amplification when the cell thickness is decreased.