Abstract： A new liquid crystal hybrid bistable optical device (BOD) is introduced. The optical bistability of two modes of operation of this LC BOD have been observed. The use of LC BODs for optical logic elements and ultralinear modulation applications is described. The transient response of LC BODs has been studied and a "critical slowing down" phenomenon has been observed. The switch time has been measured. The experimental results are in agreement with Garmire's theory.