Liquid crystal lasers have great potential as small-size, low-cost, widely-tunable lasers. A big advantage of liquid crystal lasers, is that it is not necessary to build and design a cavity for optical feedback because the feedback can occur inside the material itself. The liquid crystal is doped with a chiral dopant which introduces a periodic pattern that gives rise to a reflection band for certain wavelengths.
In the common type of liquid crystal laser, a dye is doped inside the liquid crystal material to provide optical gain. In this thesis we want to combine an organic layer as gain material with a non dye-doped liquid crystal for optical feedback. By using a liquid crystal the difficult and time-consuming processing to obtain a corrugated layer with submicrometer periodicity can be eliminated.
The project consists of a fabrication part and an experimental part. In the first part of the process, an organic layer will be deposited on a glass substrate.
Afterwards a cell will be assembled and filled with liquid crystal. Both the thickness of the organic layer and the alignment of the liquid crystal layer will have to be optimized.
The processing will be done in our process bays in the clean room in Zwijnaarde. The fabricated cells will be characterized in the labs at the Technicum.
The emission spectrum, beam shape, laser threshold and output power will be characterized.