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Optical Engineering

Application Of The Liquid Crystal Light Valve To Real-Time Optical Data Processing
Author(s): W. P. Bleha; L. T. Lipton; E. Wiener-Avnear; J. Grinberg; P. G. Reif; David Casasent; H. B. Brown; B. V. Markevitch
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Paper Abstract

This paper reviews the hybrid field-effect liquid crystal light valve (LCLV) and its application to real-time coherent optical data processing. The light valve is basically a high resolution optical-to-optical image converter. The device embodies a CdS photoconductor, a CdTe light-absorbing layer, a dielectric mirror, and a biphenyl liquid crystal layer sandwiched between indium-tin-oxide transparent electrodes deposited on optical quality glass flats. The input image is directed onto the photo-conductor to reduce the impedance of the photoconductor, thereby switching the ac voltage that is impressed across the electrodes onto the liquid crystal to activate the device. The ac operation ensures long operating life for the device. The liquid crystal is operated in a hybrid field-effect mode. It utilizes the twisted nematic effect to create a dark off-state (voltage off the liquid crystal) and optical birefringence to create the bright on-state. The liquid crystal modulates the phase of the coherent readout light. By an additional analyzer an intensity modulation is created.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1978
PDF: 14 pages
Opt. Eng. 17(4) doi: 10.1117/12.7972245
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 17, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
W. P. Bleha, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)
L. T. Lipton, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)
E. Wiener-Avnear, Hughes Aircraft Company (United States)
J. Grinberg, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)
P. G. Reif, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)
David Casasent, Carnegie-Mellon University (United States)
H. B. Brown, Ampex Corporation (United States)
B. V. Markevitch, Ampex Corporation (United States)


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