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Proceedings Paper

Fundamental Characteristics Of The Litton Iron Garnet Magneto-Optic Spatial Light Modulator
Author(s): W. E. Ross; K. M. Snapp; R. H. Anderson
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Paper Abstract

This electrically alterable magneto-optic device can be used as a two-dimensional spatial light modulator (SLM) in an optical image processor or a display system. A thin magnetic garnet film is epitaxially desposited on a transparent nonmagnetic garnet substrate, in the manner of magnetic bubble memory films. Semiconductor photolithographic techniques are used to etch the film into a two-dimensional array of mesas and to deposit X-Y drive lines for matrix-addressed current switching of the mesa magnetization. Electromagnetic switching provides higher speed switching than previously reported thermal switching methods. The axis of polarization of polarized light transmitted through the film is rotated by the Faraday effect in opposite directions where opposite magnetic states have been written, and a polarization analyzer converts this effect into image brightness modulation. The resulting high speed random access light modulator is applicable to all three planes of the classic coherent three-plane correlator. Although the basic effect is binary, there are at least four possible configurations which achieve gray scale rendition. This reusable transparency has non-volatile image storage and a relatively modest projected cost expected to be comparable to that of integrated circuits of the same size. Evaluation of prototype units has shown the material to be well behaved, exhibiting excellent uniformity and readily engineered into devices suitable for numerous applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 December 1983
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0388, Advances in Optical Information Processing I, (23 December 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.934981
Show Author Affiliations
W. E. Ross, Litton Systems Inc. (United States)
K. M. Snapp, Litton Systems Inc (United States)
R. H. Anderson, Litton Systems Inc (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0388:
Advances in Optical Information Processing I
G. Michael Morris, Editor(s)

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