Optical EngineeringParameterizing liquid crystal variable retarder structural organization with a fractal-Born approximation model
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Liquid crystal variable retarders (LCVRs) are computer-controlled birefringent devices that contain nanometer-sized birefringent liquid crystals (LCs). These devices impart retardance effects through a global, uniform orientation change of the LCs, which is based on a user-defined drive voltage input. In other words, the LC structural organization dictates the device functionality. The LC structural organization also produces a spectral scatter component which exhibits an inverse power law dependence. We investigate LC structural organization by measuring the voltage-dependent LC spectral scattering signature with an integrating sphere and then relate this observable to a fractal-Born model based on the Born approximation and a Von Kármán spectrum. We obtain LCVR light scattering spectra at various drive voltages (i.e., different LC orientations) and then parameterize LCVR structural organization with voltage-dependent correlation lengths. The results can aid in determining performance characteristics of systems using LCVRs and can provide insight into interpreting structural organization measurements.