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Proceedings Paper

PLZT-based dynamic diffractive optical element for high-speed random-access beam steering
Author(s): James A. Thomas; Mark E. Lasher; Yeshaiahu Fainman; Parviz Soltan
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Paper Abstract

A novel type of electro-optic diffractive element is presented which can satisfy the requirements for a high space-time bandwidth deflector while providing for two-dimensional random access beam steering control. The basic device consists of a multichannel array of phase modulators fabricated using Lanthanum-modified lead zirconate titanate (PLZT) operating as a programmable diffractive optical element. Two-dimensional deflection control can be readily obtained by crossing two one-dimensional arrays. This device is useful for wavelengths in the visible to mid-IR range and is based on PLZT ceramic materials which can be readily mass-produced. It possesses the versatility and multifunctionality of liquid crystal based optical phased array systems while allowing for very fast switching speeds with good thermal stability. We present a brief comparison of this novel deflector with other scanning technologies and outline the benefits and trade-offs of the PLZT-based device. Experiments on 16- and 32-channel arrays with full wave voltages less than 400 volts demonstrate continuous lateral beam steering control of a HeNe laser beam. We also demonstrate full deflection control with a minimum number of control lines using a modified deflector arrangement. And we present measurements showing sub- microsecond switching speeds from such PLZT-based phase modulators. Mature versions of this type of scanner will find use in a wide variety of applications including 2-D and 3-D laser displays, laser communications, and LIDAR systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3131, Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications, (7 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277740
Show Author Affiliations
James A. Thomas, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Mark E. Lasher, Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Ctr. (United States)
Yeshaiahu Fainman, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Parviz Soltan, Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3131:
Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications
Leo Beiser; Stephen F. Sagan, Editor(s)

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