A lasing condition is formulated in matrix form for optically anisotropic thin films. Lasing behavior of liquid-crystal slabs is analyzed. In particular, it is shown that if the spatial extent of a liquid crystal slab is much larger than its thickness, then laser emission is feasible not only along the normal to the slab, but also in the entire angular sector. The generated laser light can be observed experimentally as a spot or as concentric rings on a screen. The lowest lasing threshold corresponds to in-plane sliding modes leaking into the substrate. The feedback required for lasing is provided by reflection from the interfaces, rather than edges, of the liquid-crystal slab operating as a planar Fabry-Perot cavity. For cholesteric liquid crystals, it is shown that energy loss to the sliding modes leaking into the substrates and escaping through their edges is a key factor that limits the efficiency of band-edge emission along the normal to the slab.
Palto, S. P. , E-mail: email@example.com 
- Russian Academy of Sciences, Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography (Russian Federation)