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Proceedings Paper

Commercial applications of diffractive switched optical elements (SOEs)
Author(s): William P. Parker
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Paper Abstract

Switched optical elements (SOE's) are an emerging class of optical devices. These dynamically addressed optical elements utilize transmissive or reflective structures incorporating a material that exhibits an electrically variable index of refraction. When an electric field is applied to the resulting composite structure, a range of predetermined optical characteristics emerge--spatially modulating, diffracting or redirecting light in a controlled manner. Thus, the effect that the device has on an incident wavefront may be controlled by varying the applied electric field. Although not yet in widespread commercial use, these devices could expand the range of applications for holographic optical elements and diffractive optical elements through a new capability, that of real-time control of the optical function of an optical element. A number of diffractive SOE structures will be discussed here as well as some of the technical and engineering issues that affect the performance of switchable optical elements for use in commercial products.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 1996
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 2689, Diffractive and Holographic Optics Technology III, (7 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.239624
Show Author Affiliations
William P. Parker, Diffraction, Ltd. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2689:
Diffractive and Holographic Optics Technology III
Ivan Cindrich; Sing H. Lee, Editor(s)

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