In this study, the all-optical control properties of photonic crystals based on self-assembled chiral-azobenzene-doped blue phase liquid crystals (CA-BPLCs) were investigated. The difference in the photothermal characteristics of CA-BPLCs with and without homogeneous surface alignment was discussed. Results revealed that surface alignment could induce more uniform and diverse blue phase (BP) structures, including BPII, BPI, and BPS-like phases during cooling. Consequently, the temperature range of BP was wider than that of the sample without surface alignment. All-optical control experiments with light illumination were then performed on the aligned or nonaligned CA-BPLC samples. During continuous irradiation with light beams at wavelengths of 405 and 450 nm, CA dopants underwent trans→cis and cis→trans back photoisomerizations, respectively. These processes promoted isothermal phase transition and wavelength shifting, which further enabled the all-optical control of the CA-BPLC samples. Various optical control modes of BPLC could be achieved through phase change and wavelength shifting by appropriately selecting the working temperature and surface treatment of BPLC. This study could be further used as a basis for developing photoswitchable and tunable BPLC photonic devices, such as light-controllable gratings, filters, mirrors, and lasers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Inorganic Chemistry