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Proceedings Paper

Optically addressed surface plasmon spatial light modulators
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Paper Abstract

The status and potential of a new type of device, the surface plasmon spatial light modulator (SPSLM) is reported. The attractive features of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for use in SLM's are explained and results from prototype devices reported. These are of the liquid crystal (LC) light valve configuration, using nematic LC with a silicon photodiode backplane. Demonstrated advantages include process simplification and increased response speed. These are obtained due to the thin, single surface nature of the plasmon active region, whilst high sensitivity is retained due to the resonant enhancement of the optical field in this region. The theoretical principle of the liquid crystal SPSLM is described, in terms of the propagation of plasmons on anisotropic materials. Various alignment configurations are considered to show how both nematic and smectic materials could provide high sensitivity and speed in future devices. The need for a grating coupled SPR technology is explained, and the design and fabrication of holographic gratings for SPSLM's is discussed. Finally, the present and ultimate performance limitations of these new SLM devices are assessed, and related to their potential use in optical information processors such as image correlator and neural network systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1990
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1280, High Speed Phenomena in Photonic Materials and Optical Bistability, (1 August 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.20666
Show Author Affiliations
Martin E. Caldwell, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Eric M. Yeatman, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1280:
High Speed Phenomena in Photonic Materials and Optical Bistability
Dieter Jaeger, Editor(s)

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