The reflection properties of cholesteric films with thermally induced pitch gradients are theoretically and experimentally studied. It is shown that the optical behavior of such films corresponds to the averaged contribution of a number of stochastic pitch variation profiles, due to the transversal and longitudinal nonuniformities that develop in the helical structure of such samples. Depending on the annealing time, both narrow-band and broadband behavior can be selectively achieved. The influence of the pitch profile gradient on the broadband reflection performance of cholesteric samples is theoretically analyzed, and a multi-slab structure for achieving optimum efficiency is proposed.
American Physical Society
6 Jun 2006
Volume: 73 Issue: 6 Pages: 061701
Physical Review E