Abstract

Optical images of textured liquid-crystal films containing various types of twist disclination loops are computed using an approximate matrix method and a direct numerical simulation based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. The selected defects introduce large multidirectional spatial gradients in the optic axis, mimicking the orientation textures that arise in the construction and use of biosensors based on liquid-crystal vision. It is shown that under these experimentally relevant conditions, the matrix method fails to capture important signatures in the transmitted light intensity under crossed polarizers. The differences between the predictions by the two methods are analyzed with respect to gradients in the optic axis. We show that the FDTD method is a useful tool to perform computational optics of textured liquid-crystal films.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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