Electromagnetic wave propagation in super-choiesteric materials parallel to the helical axis

Werner S. Weiglhofer, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

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Analytic solutions are presented for the propagation of electromagnetic waves along tine helical axis of a super-cholesteric material. The fabrication of such a material is envisaged as a two-step process: First, identical, electrically small objects (inclusions) characterized by uniaxial polarizability dyadics are randomly dispersed in an isotropic host medium, all objects being aligned parallel to one another, to form a composite. The composite is effectively a bianisotropic uniaxial medium, its uniaxial nature expressed through an optical director fixed in space. Second, layers of such uniaxial composites are stacked on top of each other such that the optical director varies from layer to layer in a helicoidal way so that the typical periodically inhomogeneous structure of a cholesteric liquid crystal emerges. Exact solutions for the axial wave propagation problem are obtained. Possible realizations and technological applications of the super cholesterics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2122
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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