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Proceedings Paper

New liquid crystal devices for adaptive optics
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Paper Abstract

The idea of using liquid crystal as adaptive optics components has been proposed by several authors. In recent years a vigorous research effort has been carried out, and it is still flourishing, in several countries. Mainly the research and experimental work has been concentrated in US, U.K. and Russia. There are several reasons why liquid crystal may represent a valid alternative to the traditional deformable mirror technology that has been used for the past two decades or so. The main attractiveness of LC is resides in the cost. Current deformable mirror technology has a range of price going from $2K to $15K per channel. LC technology promises to be at least a couple of orders of magnitude cheaper. Other reasons are connected with reliability, low power consumption and with a huge technological momentum based on a wide variety of industrial applications. In this paper I present some of the experimental results of a 5 years, on going, research effort at the Air Force Research Lab. Most of the work has been on the development of suitable devices with extremely high optical quality, individually addressable pixels, fast switching time. The bulk of the work has been concentrated in the arena of the untwisted nematic material. However new devices are now under development using dual-frequency nematic material and high tilt angle ferroelectric material.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 2002
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4493, High-Resolution Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications III, (1 February 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454726
Show Author Affiliations
Sergio R. Restaino, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jeffrey T. Baker, Boeing Co. (United States)
Don M. Payne, Schafer Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4493:
High-Resolution Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications III
John D. Gonglewski; Mikhail A. Vorontsov; Mark T. Gruneisen, Editor(s)

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