We report on voltage controlled bistability of optical beams propagating in a nonlocal reorientational uniaxial dielectric, namely, nematic liquid crystals. In the nonlinear regime where spatial solitons can be generated, two stable states are accessible to a beam of given power in a finite interval of applied voltages, one state corresponding to linear diffraction and the other to self-confinement. We observe such a first-order transition and the associated hysteresis in a configuration when both the beam and the voltage reorientate the molecules beyond a threshold. (C) 2016 Author(s).
Piccardi, A., Kravets, N., Alberucci, A., Buchnev, O., Assanto, G. (2016). Voltage-driven beam bistability in a reorientational uniaxial dielectric. APL PHOTONICS, 1(1), 011302 [10.1063/1.4945349].