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Proceedings Paper

Flat electrowetting optics and displays
Author(s): Jason C. Heikenfeld; Neil R. Smith; Bo Sun; Kaichang Zhou; Linlin Hou; Yanrong Lao; Balaji Raj
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Paper Abstract

Flat electrowetting optics currently include pixel arrays for displays and prism arrays for beam steering. Electrowetting display pixels utilize a colored oil layer that provides high efficiency control of light transmission or light reflection. Electrowetting microprisms tilt the angle of the meniscus between liquids with different refractive index and thereby cause refraction of a light beam passing through the meniscus. Both of these technologies are projected to provide an order of magnitude increase in raw performance compared to liquid-crystal and other technologies. For example, transmissive electrowetting displays are expected to achieve >80% transmission, which far exceeds the ~8% transmission of a commercial liquid crystal display. Electrowetting microprisms have a clear roadmap leading to greater than +/- 45° of continuous beam steering, which surpasses the few degrees of beam steering achieved with electro-optic phased arrays. However, before widespread commercial application can be achieved, a variety of other challenges, such as low-voltage operation, must be solved. Many of these challenges are engineering problems, not fundamental scientific discoveries, and significant technological progress is expected for flat electrowetting optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6887, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VII, 688705 (8 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.758835
Show Author Affiliations
Jason C. Heikenfeld, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Neil R. Smith, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Bo Sun, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Kaichang Zhou, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Linlin Hou, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Yanrong Lao, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Balaji Raj, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6887:
MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VII
David L. Dickensheets; Harald Schenk, Editor(s)

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