Soliton switching in ferroelectric liquid crystals and their transient electro-optic response

I. Abdulhalim, G. Moddel, N. A. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-831
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Electro-optics
  • Ferroelectric materials
  • Sine-Gordon equation
  • Numerical methods
  • Light scattering
  • Liquid crystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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