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Proceedings Paper

Sheared polymer network liquid crystal for fast-response variable optical attenuators
Author(s): Yung-Hsun Wu; Yi-Hsin Lin; Yan-Qing Lu; Hongwen Ren; Yun-Hsing Fan; Janet R. Wu; Shin-Tson Wu
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Paper Abstract

A variable optical attenuator (VOA) at λ=1.55 μm using a sheared polymer network liquid crystal (SPNLC) is demonstrated. SPNLC is fabricated by mixing ~15 wt % photo-polymerizable monomer in a LC host. To polymerize the SPNLC cell, a two-step UV curing process was adopted. Before shearing, the cell scatters light strongly, but after shearing the cell becomes highly transparent in the near IR region. Using an E7-based SPNLC, the attenuation of our VOA is rather insensitive to wavelength over the ITU C-band. The rise time and decay time were measured to be 35 μs and 205 μs, respectively, at room temperature. Such a response time is at least one order magnitude faster than the state-of-the-art nematic competitors. Comparing with other polymer-stabilized liquid crystals, the SPNLC exhibits a lower driving voltage and negligible light scattering loss in the IR spectral region. A reflection type, polarization-independent VOA with ~240 μs response time and -32 dB dynamic range was demonstrated at room temperature and 35 Vrms voltage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5936, Liquid Crystals IX, 59360J (22 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.613203
Show Author Affiliations
Yung-Hsun Wu, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Yi-Hsin Lin, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Yan-Qing Lu, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Hongwen Ren, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Yun-Hsing Fan, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Janet R. Wu, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Shin-Tson Wu, College of Optics and Photonics, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5936:
Liquid Crystals IX
Iam-Choon Khoo, Editor(s)

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