Excitability and pattern formation in a liquid crystal Fabry-Pérot interferometer

Peng Y. Wang, Weiping Lu, Dejin Yu, Robert G. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a nonlinear Fabry-Pérot interferometer with a nematic liquid crystal to be an optical excitable system. The excitability is shown to arise from the competition of two Kerr type nonlinearities resulting from field-induced molecular reorientation and thermal absorption in the presence of laser radiation. We have observed all the essential features of excitability in this system when it is spatially extended, namely, propagating pulses in one-dimensional space and spiral waves in two dimensions. We have further studied patterns resulting from random noise excitations in this system. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001


  • Excitable system
  • Liquid crystal
  • Pattern
  • Spiral wave


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