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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(1), 72;

Switchable Photonic Nanojet by Electro-Switching Nematic Liquid Crystals

Joint International Research Laboratory of Information Display and Visualization, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 6 January 2019
PDF [3493 KB, uploaded 6 January 2019]


This paper first presents a switchable photonic nanojet (PNJ) generated by a polystyrene (PS) microsphere immersed in nematic liquid crystals (NLCs). The PNJ is switched by applying external voltage, which originates from the refractive index change in the surrounding medium caused by the field-induced realignment of liquid crystal molecules. By tuning the refractive index of NLCs larger or smaller than that of the PS microsphere, the PNJ can be switched off or on. Moreover, we present an optimization study to seek a better electric energy focusing property of the PNJ. Our results reveal that the switchability of PNJ can be optimized by applying a shorter incident wavelength, a double-layer microsphere, and a PS ellipsoid. The full width at half-maximum (FWHM) generated by the PS ellipsoid is narrower than that generated by the microsphere with a shorter incident wavelength. The intensity contrast of the PS ellipsoid is higher than that of the double-layer microsphere. As a whole, the switchability of PNJ can be best optimized by a PS ellipsoid. This should open the way for the development of integrated photonic devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-optics; photonic nanojet; nanomaterials micro-optics; photonic nanojet; nanomaterials

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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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Du, B.; Xia, J.; Wu, J.; Zhao, J.; Zhang, H. Switchable Photonic Nanojet by Electro-Switching Nematic Liquid Crystals. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 72.

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