Polarized Light in Liquid Crystals and Polymers / Edition 1

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Polarized Light in Liquid Crystals and Polymers deals with the linear optics of birefringent materials, such as liquid crystals and polymers, and surveys light propagation in such media with special attention to applications. It is unique in treating light propagation in micro- and nanostructured birefringent optical elements, such as lenses and gratings composed of birefringent materials, as well as the spatial varying anisotropic structures often found in miniaturized liquid crystal devices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Polarized Light in Liquid Crystals and Polymers by Toralf Scharf should be considered as essential reading for any postgraduate student embarking on the study of liquid crystals. In addition, the readily accessible index makes this book a valuable reference text for those already established in the field." (Liquid Crystals Today, December 2009)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471740643
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Toralf Scharf is Senior Scientist at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. His current research interests concern liquid crystal optics for display applications, implementation of organic birefringent optical materials into solid optical devices, and fabrication and characterization of micro-optics including diffractive and refractive effects. He was a coauthor of a chapter on micro-optics for spectrometry published in International Trends in Applied Optics, Vol. 5, and has published numerous papers.

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Table of Contents


1 Polarized Light.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Concept of Light Polarization.

1.3 Description of The State of Polarization.

1.4 The Stokes Concept.

1.5 The Jones Concept.

1.6 Coherence and Polarized Light.


2 Electromagnetic Waves in Anisotropic Materials.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Analytical Background.

2.3 Time Harmonic Fields and Plane Waves.

2.4 Maxwell’s Equations in Matrix Representation.

2.5 Separation of Polarizations for Inhomogeneous Problems.

2.6 Separation of Polarizations for Anisotropic Problems.

2.7 Dielectric Tensor and Index Ellipsoid.


3 Description of Light Propagation with Rays.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Light Rays and Wave Optics.

3.3 Light Propagation Through Interfaces (Fresnel Formula) .

3.4 Propagation Direction of Rays in Crystals.

3.5 Propagation Along A Principal Axis.

3.6 Rays at Isotropic–Anisotropic Interfaces.

3.7 Gaussian Beams.


4 Stratified Birefringent Media.

4.1 Maxwell Equations for Stratified Media.

4.2 Jones Formalism in Examples.

4.3 Extended Jones Matrix Method.

4.4 The 4x4 Berreman Method.

4.5 Analytical Solution for A Birefringent Slab.

4.6 Reflection and Transmission.


5 Space-Grid Time-Domain Techniques.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Description of the FDTD Method.

5.3 Implementation and Boundary Conditions.

5.4 Rigorous Optics for Liquid Crystals.


6 Organic Optical Materials.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Polymers for Optics.

6.3 Physical Properties of Polymers.

6.4 Optical Properties of Polymers.

6.5 Liquid Crystal Phases.

6.6 Liquid Crystal Polymers.

6.7 Birefringence in Isotropic Materials.

6.8 Form Birefringence.

6.9 Order-Induced Birefringence.

6.10 Optical Properties of Liquid Crystals and Oriented Polymers.


7 Practical Polarization Optics with the Microscope.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Microscope Characteristics.

7.3 Polarization Microscope.

7.4 Polarizers.

7.5 Polarization Colors.

7.6 Compensation and Retardation Measurement.

7.7 Conoscopy.

7.8 Local Polarization Mapping.


8 Optics of Liquid Crystal Textures.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Calculation of Liquid Crystal Director Distributions.

8.3 Optical Properties of Uniform Textures.

8.4 Optical Properties of Liquid Crystal Defects.

8.5 Surface Line Defects in Nematics.

8.6 Defects in Smectic Phases.

8.7 Confined Nematic Liquid Crystals.

8.8 Instabilities in Liquid Crystals.

8.9 Deformation of Liquid Crystal Directors by Fringing Fields.

8.10 Resolution Limit of Switchable Liquid Crystal Devices.

8.11 Switching in Layered Phases.


9 Refractive Birefringent Optics.

9.1 Birefringent Optical Elements.

9.2 Fabrication of Refractive Components.

9.3 Optical Properties of Modified Birefringent Components.

9.4 Liquid Crystal Phase Shifters.

9.5 Modal Control Elements.

9.6 Interferometers Based on Polarization Splitting.

9.7 Birefringent Microlenses.

9.8 Electrically Switchable Microlenses.


10 Diffractive Optics with Anisotropic Materials.

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Principles of Fourier Optics.

10.3 Polarization Properties.

10.4 Diffraction at Binary Gratings.

10.5 Concepts and Fabrication.

10.6 Diffractive Elements Due to surface Modifications.

10.7 Electrically Switchable Gratings.

10.8 Switchable Diffractive Lenses.


11 Bragg Diffraction.

11.1 Reflection by Multilayer Structures.

11.2 Polymer Films.

11.3 Giant Polarization Optics.

11.4 Reflection by Cholesteric Liquid Crystals.

11.5 Color Properties of Cholesteric Bragg Reflectors.

11.6 Apodization of Cholesteric Bragg Filters.

11.7 Reflection by Dispersed Cholesteric Liquid Crystals.

11.8 Depolarization Effects by Polymer Dispersed Cholesteric Liquid Crystals.

11.9 Defect Structures in Cholesteric Bragg Reflectors.

11.10 Structured Cholesteric Bragg Filters.

11.11 Plane Wave Approach to the Optics of Blue Phases.



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