We studied the electro-optical property and photorefractive effects in a semiconductor CdSe nanorod doped neamtic liquid crystal [NLC] system. The nonlinear index coefficient is measured to be n 2=2.05×10−2cm 2/W , which is 10 times larger than that of an equivalent pure liquid crystal system. Electro-optical switching investigation shows that the Freedericksz transition voltage of this system is also noticeably lower than that of un-doped NLC. These enhanced electro- and nonlinear optical properties are attributed to the photoconductivity of CdSe nanorods and the enlarged electric conductivity and dielectric anisotropies of the doped system. An AC field assisted photorefractive effect in CdSe nanorod doped liquid crystal system has also been studied.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.