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- Intangible pointlike tracers for liquid-crystal-based microsensors
- Brasselet, Etienne; Juodkazis, Saulius
- We propose an optical detection technique for liquid-crystal-based sensors that is based on polarization-resolved tracking of optical singularities and does not rely on standard observation of light-intensity changes caused by modifications of the liquid crystal orientational ordering. It uses a natural two-dimensional network of polarization singularities embedded in the transverse cross section of a probe beam that passes through a liquid crystal sample, in our case, a nematic droplet held in laser tweezers. The identification and spatial evolution of such a topological fingerprint is retrieved from subwavelength polarization-resolved imaging, and the mechanical constraint exerted on the molecular ordering by the trapping beam itself is chosen as the control parameter. By restricting our analysis to one type of point singularity, C points, which correspond to location in space where the polarization azimuth is undefined, we show that polarization singularities appear as intangible pointlike tracers for liquid-crystal-based three-dimensional microsensors. The method has a superresolution potential and can be used to visualize changes at the nanoscale.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences. Centre for Micro-Photonics
- Physical Review A, Vol. 82, no. 6 (Dec 2010), article no. 063832
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 020504 Photonics, Optoelectronics and Optical Communications; 090605 Photodetectors, Optical Sensors and Solar Cells; 100711 Nanophotonics
- Liquid crystals; Microsensors; Optical detecting; Tracers
- American Physical Society
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010 The American Physical Society. The published version of the paper is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.
- Additional information
- The authors acknowledge support from the Grant-in-Aid No. 19360322 from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan.
- Full text
- Peer reviewed