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A model for the Pockels effect in distorted liquid crystal blue phases
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, H.-Y. Chen
, and S.-F. Lu
, e-print arXiv:1406.3125v1
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Recent experiments have found that a mechanically distorted blue phase can exhibit a primary linear electro-optic (Pockels) effect [F. Castles et al., Nat. Mater. 13, 817 (2014)]. Here, it is shown that flexoelectricity can account for the experimental results and a model, which is based on continuum theory but takes into account the sub-unit-cell structure, is proposed. The model provides a quantitative description of the effect accurate to the nearest order of magnitude and predicts that the Pockels coefficient(s) in an optimally distorted blue phase may be two orders of magnitude larger than in lithium niobate.
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