Nematicons in azobenzene liquid crystals

S. V. Serak, N. V. Tabiryan and G. Assanto

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 559 (1), 202-213 (2012)


We review our comprehensive investigation of light self-localization phenomena in planarly configured azobenzene liquid crystals. Cis-trans isomerization of azobenzene molecules and related changes in the order parameter of the liquid crystals support a high nonlinear response and the formation of optical spatial solitons at microwatt excitations. We describe bright soliton angular steering, deflection, interleaving and merging, as well as dark solitons.