Graphene and chiral nematic liquid crystals: a focus on lasing†
This work presents the interaction of self-assembled liquid crystalline (LC) unidimensional photonic structures on the surface of polycrystalline graphene. Further, this surface effect is studied through different substrate geometries in the test devices. Primarily, these devices are characterised through polarizing optical microscopy (POM) and their laser emission features in the dye-doped chiral systems. Then the conductive nature of graphene is utilized to apply external electric fields to the photonic medium and its effect is envisaged. These graphene-based devices demonstrate a unique result in polarizing optical micrographs and electro-optic responses which indicates the presence of multidirectional domain formations. Additionally, the LC band-edge lasing from graphene cells is found to be anisotropic and depends on the directionality of the optical pump. This work attempts to lay the foundation for the implementation of a new class of defused chiral nematic liquid crystal based devices e.g. optical filters, notch filters, colour reflectors, and light shutters and may add toward the knowledge base necessary in the substitution of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) with graphene in traditional LC based display devices.