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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8081330

Mechanical Manipulation of Diffractive Properties of Optical Holographic Gratings from Liquid Crystalline Elastomers

1
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Kneza Trpimira 2B, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
3
Tianjin Economic-Technology Development Area Institute of Applied Physics & School of Physics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Precision Spectroscopy, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
5
J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
6
Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università degli studi di Pisa, via Moruzzi 13, 56126 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Optical Materials and Phenomena)
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Abstract

An appealing property of optical diffractive structures from elastomeric materials is a possibility to regulate their optical patterns and consequently also their diffractive features with mechanical straining. We investigated the effect of strain on diffraction characteristics of holographic gratings recorded in a monodomain side-chain liquid crystalline elastomer. The strain was imposed either parallel or perpendicular to the initial alignment direction of the material. At temperatures far below the nematic–paranematic phase transition, straining along the initial alignment affects mainly the diffraction pattern, while the diffraction efficiency remains almost constant. In contrast, at temperatures close to the nematic–paranematic phase transition, the diffraction efficiency is also significantly affected. Straining in the direction perpendicular to the initial alignment strongly and diversely influences both the diffraction pattern and the diffraction efficiency. The difference between the two cases is attributed to shear–stripe domains, which form only during straining perpendicular to the initial alignment and cause optical diffraction that competes with the diffraction from the holographic grating structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid crystalline elastomers; holographic gratings; optical diffraction; elasto-optic effect liquid crystalline elastomers; holographic gratings; optical diffraction; elasto-optic effect
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Bošnjaković, D.; Gregorc, M.; Li, H.; Čopič, M.; Domenici, V.; Drevenšek-Olenik, I. Mechanical Manipulation of Diffractive Properties of Optical Holographic Gratings from Liquid Crystalline Elastomers. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1330.

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