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Soft Matter Photonics: Research - Thin-Film Lasers | Engineering Science Department - University of Oxford

Thin-Film Lasers

Our research on organic thin-film laser devices involves using a combination of liquid crystals and polymer materials to create hybrid laser devices that exhibit a range of different functionalities from polarisation and wavelength tuning, to optical beam steering (see for example Figure 1). We are interested in developing new laser sources based upon these organic materials in an attempt to create low-threshold lasers that are potentially compatible with low-cost manufacturing techniques. The research includes both fundamental studies of the emission characteristics such as coherence properties as well as the design and fabrication of new device architectures.

Figure 1. Laser emission from a flexible defect-mode liquid crystal laser (A Thin‐Film Flexible Defect‐Mode Laser - Ali - 2020 - Advanced Optical Materials - Wiley Online Library).

For this research, we have worked in collaboration with a variety of different research groups including the groups of Professors Henry Snaith FRS and Moritz Riede in the Department of Physics (University of Oxford) to develop new thin-film liquid crystal lasers that consist of bulk (see for example Figure 2) or nanocrystal perovskite structures The aim of this work is to develop new, low threshold laser sources that are photostable and can be tuned using external stimuli. This work has also been carried out in collaboration with Professor Albert Schenning's group at the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Optoelectronics Research Group in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Figure 2. Emission from a perovskite structure using a flexible chiral nematic (cholesteric) reflector.


Non-mechanical optical beam-steering of a liquid crystal laser

Guanxiong Zhang, Steve J. Elston, Andy Schreier, Grahame Faulkner, Atchutananda Surampudi, Dominic O'Brien, Stephen M. Morris Optics & Laser Technology 157, 108623 (2023)

On-Demand Polarization Controllable Liquid Crystal Laser

Taimoor Ali, Steve J. Elston, Jia-De Lin, Stephen M. Morris Advanced Materials Technologies (2022)

A Thin‐Film Flexible Defect‐Mode Laser

Taimoor Ali, Jia‐De Lin, Benjamin Snow, Xiuze Wang, Steve J. Elston, Stephen M. Morris Advanced Optical Materials 8, 1901891 (2020) 

Wavelength Tuning of the Photonic Band Gap of an Achiral Nematic Liquid Crystal Filled into a Chiral Polymer Scaffold

S. M. Wood, J. A. J. Fells, S. J. Elston, and S. M. Morris Macromolecules 29, 8643-8652 (2016)

Wavelength-tuneable laser emission from a dye-doped achiral nematic liquid crystal dispersed into a chiral polymer scaffold

Simon J. Wood, Steve J. Elston, and Stephen M. Morris Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals 632, 89-96 (2016)

Wavelength-tuneable laser emission from stretchable chiral nematic liquid crystal gels via in situ photopolymerization

S. M. Wood, F. Castles, S. J. Elston, and S. M. Morris, RSC Advances, 6, 31919-31924 (2016)

Structured Organic–Inorganic Perovskite toward a Distributed Feedback Laser

M. Saliba, S. M. Wood, J. B. Patel, P. K. Nayak, J. Huang, J. A. Alexander-Webber, B. Wenger, S. D. Stranks, M. T. Horantner, J. Tse-Wei Wang, R. J. Nicholas, L. M. Herz, M. B. Johnston, S. M. Morris, H. J. Snaith, and M. K. Riede Advanced Materials, 28, 923-929 (2016)

Polarized Phosphorescence of Isotropic and Metal-Based Clustomesogens Dispersed into Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystalline Films

S. M. Wood, M. Prévôt, M. Amela-Cortes, S. Cordier, S. J. Elston, Y. Molard and S. M. Morris Advanced Optical Materials, 3, 1368-1372, (2015)

Enhanced Amplified Spontaneous Emission in Perovskites using a Flexible Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Reflector

S. D Stranks, S. M Wood, K. Wojciechowski, F. Deschler, M. Saliba, H. Khandelwal, J. B Patel, S. Elston, L. M. Herz, M. B Johnston, A. P. H. J. Schenning, M. G. Debije, M. Riede, S. M Morris, and H. J. Snaith, Nano Letters 15, 4935-4941 (2015)