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Proceedings Paper

Liquid crystal Bragg gratings: dynamic optical elements for spatial light modulators
Author(s): R. L. Sutherland; V. P. Tondiglia; L. V. Natarajan; J. M. Wofford; S. A. Siwecki; G. Cook; D. R. Evans; P. F Lloyd; T. J. Bunning
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Paper Abstract

Bragg gratings yield a single diffracted order when irradiated by a coherent beam at the appropriate Bragg angle. In many cases, nearly all of the energy of the incident beam can be coupled to the diffracted beam. Hence these gratings can form many useful optical elements, and this has been realized in 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D photonic crystals. Bragg gratings made with liquid crystals offer the added dimension of dynamic properties through the large electro-optical effect in liquid crystals. Applications for spatial light modulators are numerous, including optical switches, modulators, active optical elements (e.g., lenses), laser sources, and tunable filters. We have been exploring a number of approaches for making liquid crystal Bragg gratings, including holographic polymer-dispersed liquid crystals, cholesteric liquid crystals, and homogenous nematic liquid crystals in hybrid devices. We have studied the dynamic properties of these Bragg gratings by electrical, thermal, and optical stimulation. Modification and control of optical and dynamic properties have been obtained through combinations of liquid crystals with polymers, combinations of various dopant materials, and interactions of liquid crystals with organic and inorganic interfaces. We discuss the materials, fabrication, characterization, and physics of liquid crystal Bragg gratings and present the results of various devices we have studied in our lab. We will also discuss potential applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2007
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6487, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies II, 64870V (12 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.710829
Show Author Affiliations
R. L. Sutherland, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
V. P. Tondiglia, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
L. V. Natarajan, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
J. M. Wofford, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
S. A. Siwecki, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
G. Cook, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Universal Technology Corp. (United States)
D. R. Evans, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
P. F Lloyd, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
UES, Inc. (United States)
T. J. Bunning, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6487:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies II
Liang-Chy Chien, Editor(s)

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