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The present invention provides hybrid photorefractive materials that include one or more windows and one or more adjacent layers of gain media. The gain media may be a liquid crystal or a polymer material that includes nanoparticles. These nanoparticles may be any solid or gel (as distinct from liquid droplets) and may be either active or passive (and inorganic or organic) in nature. For example, the nanoparticles may be ferroelectric nanoparticles. Nanoparticles have a pronounced effect on the gain characteristics, sensitivity, birefringence, speed and photorefractive beam coupling of the hybrid cell. Additionally, embodiments of the invention permit transient or steady-state optical interactions with thermally absorbed radiation, optical fields, acoustic radiation, and induced electrostriction.
- In situations where the application of external electric fields is undesirable, increasing the sensitivity of the liquid crystal or polymer layers to the space charge field is the most practical method for improving device performance
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 9,083,149 from the Air Force