Ultrafast pulse compression, stretching-and-recompression using cholesteric liquid crystals

Yikun Liu, You Wu, Chun Wei Chen, Jianying Zhou, Tsung Hsien Lin, Iam Choon Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We have experimentally demonstrated the feasibility of direct compression, or stretching and recompression of laser pulses in a very wide temporal time scale spanning 10's fs to ∼1 ps time with sub-mm thick cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) cells. The mechanisms at work here are the strong dispersion at the photonic band-edges and nonlinear phase modulation associated with the non-resonant ultrafast molecular electronic optical nonlinearity. The observed pulse compression limit, spectral characteristics and intensity dependence of the compression are in good agreement with theoretical expectations and simulations based on a coupled-mode propagation model. Owing to the large degree of freedom to engineer the wavelength locations of CLC photonic bandgap and bandedges, these self-action all-optical processes can be realized with ultrafast lasers pulses in a very wide spectral region from the visible to near infrared, with potential applications in compact ultrafast photonic modulation devices/platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10458-10465
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Express
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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