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Microsecond-range optical shutter for unpolarized light with chiral nematic liquid crystal
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A fast electro-optic shutter is fabricated and demonstrated. The device works independently of the polarization state of the incoming light beam. Modulation between 3% transmission and 60% transmission is obtained within a wavelength range of 50 nm with a response time of 20 μs. The device consists of two partly polymerized chiral
nematic liquid crystal layers separated by a half wave plate. The transmission modulation is due to a 50 nm wavelength shift of the photonic band gap of the chiral
liquid crystal realized by applying an electric field over a mixture of photo-polymerized LC and non-reactive nematic LC containing a chiral
dopant. The shutter features high reflectivity in the photonic band gap. We investigate the influence of the amplitude of the applied voltage on the width and the depth of the reflection band.
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