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Optical Engineering

Transmission variations in liquid crystal spatial light modulators caused by interference and diffraction effects
Author(s): Jeffrey A. Davis; Philbert S. Tsai; Don M. Cottrell; Tomio Sonehara; Jun Amako
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Paper Abstract

We report on the characteristics of a newly developed high- resolution (640x480 pixels) parallel-aligned liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LCSLM) as a function of wavelength. phase-only operation over a range of 2? rad is easily achieved by operating at shorter wavelengths. We also measure an unexpected effect?the transmitted light intensity changes with applied voltage. Our experiments show that thin- film interference and pixel diffraction effects are responsible for this observed behavior. The diffraction effect is caused by a nonuniform electric field across each pixel. This nonuniform electric field introduces a blazing effect that changes the intensity distribution in the various diffracted orders as a function of applied voltage. These same kinds of effects have been observed with several other twisted-nematic LCSLMs. Because of the complicated polarization effects caused by these twisted-nematic liquid crystal devices, however, the diffraction and interference effects are more easily studied using the parallel-aligned LCSLM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 38(6) doi: 10.1117/1.602149
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 38, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey A. Davis, San Diego State Univ. (United States)
Philbert S. Tsai, San Diego State Univ. (United States)
Don M. Cottrell, San Diego State Univ. (United States)
Tomio Sonehara, Seiko Epson Co. (Japan)
Jun Amako, Seiko Epson Corp. (Japan)


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