Optical seminar | 26 February 2021

Dr. Tetiana Orlova
ITMO University
Opto-molecular generation of topological solitons in photoresponsive chiral liquid crystals

Liquid crystals play an important role in many modern technologies, such as liquid crystal displays, sensors, light shutters, and other electro-optical devices.  Topologically structured liquid crystals are of particular interest due to high potential of their use in light beam shapers and optical memory elements. Chiral liquid crystals, which present a helical orientational order with an intrinsic helical pitch p, make it possible to create a wide variety of topologically complex structures in  comparison with achiral nematics. This feature has been widely exploited in recent studies on the creation of localized topological configurations in chiral nematics and the demonstration of a number of optical effects using such three-dimensional localized structures. Currently, most attention in the field of localized topological  configurations is drawn to free-standing particle-like solitonic structures embedded in the bulk of initially unwound chiral liquid crystal thin films with typical thickness L = 1-100 μm when L is of the order of p.

In my talk, I would like to discuss recent achievements in the optomolecular generation of various static and dynamic localized topological structures based on the light-matter interaction at the molecular level.