Research at CMMPE — Electrical/optical phenomena

At the core of all research at CMMPE are the electrical and optical phenomena associated with materials such as liquid crystals. Arguably the most commonly associated phenomenon with liquid crystals is the effect of electro-optic switching (the modulation of transmitted phase or intensity with applied electric field). It is this electro-optical response of liquid crystals that makes them so very useful in switching and display applications. A basic introduction to this effect can be found in CMMPE's introduction to liquid crystals.

However, CMMPE also carries out detailed research into less commonly understood phenomena such as the flexoelectro-optic effect, photonic band-gaps in chiral liquid crystals, and non-linear optical effects. It is hoped that research into these unusual and interesting phenomena will also give rise to new devices and applications of optical technology, such as faster switching and lower power displays for example. More details about our research into such phenomenology can be found below:


Bistable switching

High speed, bistable switching of smectic A and ferroelectric liquid crystals.

Flexoelectro-optic effect

The liquid crystalline analogue of piezoelectricity.

The photonic band-gap

Reflection bands in materials including chiral nematics, and how they can be used for lasing.

Non-linear optics

Other areas of non-linear optical research, not necessarily involving liquid crystals.