Soliton switching in ferroelectric liquid crystals and their transient electro-optic response Academic Article uri icon


  • The switching behavior of ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) is studied both experimentally and theoretically. Experimentally the electro‐optic response of multiwavelength‐thick FLC cells revealed transient peak and dip characteristics. This behavior could not be explained at all according to the standard picture of a switchable birefringent plate, nor according to transient light scattering associated with ferroelectric domain reversal. Solutions of a numerical model of the FLC electric and elastic torques, which results in the sine‐Gordon equation, showed the propagation of kink‐antikink pair solitons. The nonuniform director structures corresponding to these solitons are sufficient to explain the experimental behavior of the transient electro‐optic response with the wavelength, the field, and the polarizer‐cell‐analyzer orientation. The electro‐optic response is found to be highly sensitive to the fixed boundary dipole orientations.

publication date

  • January 1, 1994