We report on the spectral properties of an optically switchable tristable chiral-tilted homeotropic nematic liquid crystal (LC) incorporated as a tunable defect layer in one-dimensional photonic crystal. By varying the polarization angle of the incident light and modulating the light intensity ratio between UV and green light, various transmission characteristics of the composite were obtained. The hybrid structure realizes photo-tunability in transmission of defect-mode peaks within the photonic bandgap in addition to optical switchability among three distinct sets of defect modes via photoinduced tristable state transitions. Because the fabrication process is easier and less critical in terms of cell parameters or sample preparation conditions and the LC layer itself possesses an extra stable state compared with the previously reported bistable counterpart operating on the basis of biased-voltage dual-frequency switching, it has much superior potential for photonic applications such as a low-power-consumption multichannel filter and an optically controllable intensity modulator.
ASJC Scopus subject areas