Editors : N.L. Abbott, D.J. Broer, T. Kato, T.J. White
a1 Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics, Electrical Engineering Division, University of Cambridge, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3 0FA, UK.
We report on novel liquid crystals with extremely large flexoelectric coefficients in a range of ultra-fast photonic modes, namely 1) the uniform lying helix, that leads to in-plain switching, birefringence phase devices with 100 μs switching times at low fields, i.e.2-5 V/μm, and analogue or grey scale capability, 2) the uniform standing helix, using planar surface alignment and in-plane fields, with sub ms response times and optical contrasts in excess of 5000:1 with a perfect optically isotropic or black “off state”, 3) the wide temperature range blue phase that leads to field controlled reflective color, 4) chiral nematic optical reflectors electric field tunable over a wide wavelength range and 5) high slope efficiency, wide wavelength range tunable narrow linewidth microscopic liquid crystal lasers.