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Proceedings Paper

Liquid crystals for lasercom applications
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Paper Abstract

Nematic liquid crystals (NLCs) have electronically tunable birefringence and can be used as voltage-controlled switches for channel or redundancy beam switching in a lasercom terminal. To assess the performance of such a switch, we have evaluated the operating voltage, transmission efficiency, polarization crosstalk, and long-term operational reliability of an NLC device at four laser diode wavelengths. Preliminary results are encouraging. Transmission is around 95 percent, and polarization rotation purity is comparable to that obtained with a quartz or polymer waveplate, making this solid-state, voltage-controlled waveplate competitive with a conventional implementation that uses a mechanically inserted or rotated half-wave plate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1991
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1417, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III, (1 June 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.43769
Show Author Affiliations
Chinh Tan, Mitre Corp. (United States)
Robert T. Carlson, Mitre Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1417:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III
David L. Begley; Bernard D. Seery, Editor(s)

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