All optically generated, relocatable umbilic defects in a liquid crystal (LC) with positive dielectric anisotropy are reported. The studied samples are made with a Fe-doped LiNbO3 substrate showing the bulk photovoltaic effect and an ITO coated glass plate as covering substrate. Umbilics are created upon exposure with a focused laser beam: They are induced via photo generated fields at the relocatable exposure beam position. The field distribution of these fields is normal to the sample plane at the exposure spot center and has increasingly high in-plane field components in radial direction: Ideal conditions to induce director reorientations with radial symmetry in a LC with positive dielectric anisotropy. The irradiated regions are studied with polarized probe light revealing the characteristic for umbilic defects and the typical doughnut-shaped intensity distributions expected for optical vortex beams. The experimental findings are compared to calculated transmission profiles. Moreover, a LC with negative dielectric anisotropy was studied in the same type of sample for reference.
Formation of relocatable umbilical defects in a liquid crystal with positive dielectric anisotropy induced via photovoltaic fields / Schafforz, S. L.; Nordendorf, G.; Nava, G.; Lucchetti, L.; Lorenz, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR LIQUIDS. - ISSN 0167-7322. - 307:(2020), p. 112963. [10.1016/j.molliq.2020.112963]