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Liquid Crystals: Physical Properties and Nonlinear Optical Phenomena, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-08402-1
424 pages
March 2007
Liquid Crystals: Physical Properties and Nonlinear Optical Phenomena, 2nd Edition (0470084022) cover image


The fundamental science and latest applications of liquid crystal technologies

An excellent professional reference and superior upper-level student text, Liquid Crystals, Second Edition is a comprehensive treatment of all the basic principles underlying the unique physical and optical properties of liquid crystals. Written by an internationally known pioneer in the nonlinear optics of liquid crystals, the book also provides a unique, in-depth discussion of the mechanisms and theoretical principles behind all major nonlinear optical phenomena occurring in liquid crystals.

Fully revised and updated with the latest developments, this Second Edition covers:

  • Basic physics and optical properties of liquid crystals
  • Nematics, as well as other mesophases such as smectics, ferroelectrics, and cholesterics
  • Fundamentals of liquid crystals for electro-optics, and display and non-display related applications
  • Various theoretical and computational techniques used in describing optical propagation through liquid crystals and anisotropic materials
  • Nonlinear optics of liquid crystals, including updated literature reviews and fundamental discussions

Structured to follow a natural sequence of instruction, from basic physics to the latest specialized optical, electro-optical, and nonlinear applications, Liquid Crystals is a textbook that grounds students in the fundamentals before introducing them to the most current discoveries in the field. Written in a clear, reader-friendly style, it features numerous figures, tables, and illustrations, including important and hard-to-find device and material parameters. Invaluable to students, researchers, and those working with liquid crystal applications in various industries, Liquid Crystals, Second Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource available.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction to Liquid Crystals.

1.1. Molecular Structures and Chemical Compositions.

1.2. Electronic Properties.

1.3. Lyotropic, Polymeric, and Thermotropic Liquid Crystals.

1.4. Mixtures and Composites.

1.5. Liquid Crystal Cells and Sample Preparation.


Chapter 2. Order Parameter, Phase Transition, and Free Energies.

2.1. Basic Concepts.

2.2. Molecular Interactions and Phase Transitions.

2.3. Molecular Theories and Results for the Liquid Crystalline Phaseeter.

2.4. Isotropic Phase of Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 3. Nematic Liquid Crystals.

3.1. Introduction.

3.2. Elastic Continuum Theory.

3.3. Dielectric Constants and Refractive Indices.

3.4. Optical Dielectric Constants and Refractive Indices.

3.5. Flows and Hydrodynamics.

3.6. Field-Induced Director Axis Reorientation Effects.


Chapter 4. Cholesteric, Smectic, and Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals.

4.1. Cholesteric Liquid Crystals.

4.2. Light Scattering in Cholesterics.

4.3. Smectic and Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals: A Quick Survey.

4.4. Smectic-A Liquid Crystals.

4.5. Smectic-C Liquid Crystals.

4.6. Smectic-C* and Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 5. Light Scatterings.

5.1. Introduction.

5.2. General Electromagnetic Formalism of Light Scattering in Liquid Crystals.

5.3. Scattering from Director Axis Fluctuations in Nematic Liquid Crystals.

5.4. Light Scattering in the Isotropic Phase of Liquid Crystals.

5.5. Temperature,Wavelength, and Cell Geometry Effects on Scattering.

5.6. Spectrum of Light and Orientation Fluctuation Dynamics.

5.7. Raman Scatterings.

5.8. Brillouin and Rayleigh Scatterings.

5.9. Nonlinear Light Scattering: Supraoptical Nonlinearity of Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 6. Liquid Crystal Optics and Electro-Optics.

6.1. Introduction.

6.2. Review of Electro-Optics of Anisotropic and Birefringent Crystals.

6.3. Electro-Optics of Nematic Liquid Crystals.

6.4. Nematic Liquid Crystal Switches and Displays.

6.5. Electro-Optical Effects in Other Phases of Liquid Crystals.

6.6. Nondisplay Applications of Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 7. Electromagnetic Formalisms for Optical Propagation.

7.1. Introduction.

7.2. Electromagnetism of Anisotropic Media Revisited.

7.3. General Formalisms for Polarized Light Propagation Through Liquid Crystal Devices.

7.4. Extended Jones Matrix Method.

7.5. Finite-Difference Time-Domain Technique.


Chapter 8. Laser-Induced Orientational Optical Nonlinearities in Liquid Crystals.

8.1. General Overview of Liquid Crystal Nonlinearities.

8.2. Laser-Induced Molecular Reorientations in the Isotropic Phase.

8.3. Molecular Reorientations in the Nematic Phase.

8.4. Nematic Phase Reorientation Dynamics.

8.5. Laser-Induced Dopant-Assisted Molecular Reorientation and Trans-Cis Isomerism.

8.6. DC Field Aided Optically Induced Nonlinear Optical Effects in Liquid Crystals: Photorefractivity.

8.7. Reorientation and Nonelectronic Nonlinear Optical Effects in Smectic and Cholesteric Phases.


Chapter 9. Thermal, Density, and Other Nonelectronic Nonlinear Mechanisms.

9.1. Introduction.

9.2. Density and Temperature Changes Induced by Sinusoidal Optical Intensity.

9.3. Refractive Index Changes: Temperature and Density Effects.

9.4. Thermal and Density Optical Nonlinearities of Nematic Liquid Crystals in the Visible-Infrared Spectrum.

9.5. Thermal and Density Optical Nonlinearities of Isotropic Liquid Crystals.

9.6. Coupled Nonlinear Optical Effects in Nematic Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 10. Electronic Optical Nonlinearities.

10.1. Introduction.

10.2. Density Matrix Formalism for Optically Induced Molecular Electronic Polarizabilities.

10.3. Electronic Susceptibilities of Liquid Crystals.

10.4. Electronic Nonlinear Polarizations of Liquid Crystals.


Chapter 11. Introduction to Nonlinear Optics.

11.1. Nonlinear Susceptibility and Intensity-Dependent Refractive Index.

11.2. General Nonlinear Polarization and Susceptibility.

11.3. Convention and Symmetry.

11.4. Coupled Maxwell Wave Equations.

11.5. Nonlinear Optical Phenomena.

11.6. Stimulated Scatterings.


Chapter 12. Nonlinear Optical Phenomena Observed in Liquid Crystals.

12.1. Self-Focusing, Self-Phase Modulation, and Self-Guiding.

12.2. Optical Wave Mixing.

12.3. Liquid Crystals for All-Optical Image Processing.

12.4. Harmonic Generations and Sum-Frequency Spectroscopy.

12.5. Optical Switching.

12.6. Nonlinear Absorption and Optical Limiting of Short Laser Pulses in Isotropic Phase Liquid Crystals and Liquids.

12.7. Conclusion.



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Author Information

Iam-Choon Khoo, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Khoo is internationally known for his pioneering and leading work in liquid crystals, and in nonlinear optical phenomena and applications. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, IEEE, and the UK Institute of Physics.
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