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Proceedings Article

A high throughput liquid crystal light shutter for unpolarized light using polymer polarization gratings

[+] Author Affiliations
Ravi K. Komanduri, Kris F. Lawler, Michael J. Escuti

North Carolina State Univ. (USA)

Proc. SPIE 8052, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV, 80520R (May 13, 2011); doi:10.1117/12.887140
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From Conference Volume 8052

  • Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV
  • William E. Thompson; Paul F. McManamon
  • Orlando, Florida, United States | April 25, 2011

abstract

We report on a broadband, diffractive, light shutter with the ability to modulate unpolarized light. This polarizer-free approach employs a conventional liquid crystal (LC) switch, combined with broadband Polarization Gratings (PGs) formed with polymer LC materials. The thin-film PGs act as diffractive polarizing beam-splitters, while the LC switch operates on both orthogonal polarization states simultaneously. As an initial experimental proof-of- concept for unpolarized light with ±7° aperture, we utilize a commercial twisted-nematic LC switch and our own polymer PGs to achieve a peak transmittance of 80% and peak contrast ratio of 230:1. We characterize the optoelectronic performance, discuss the limitations, and evaluate its use in potential nonmechanical shutter applications (imaging and non-imaging).

© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

Ravi K. Komanduri ; Kris F. Lawler and Michael J. Escuti
"A high throughput liquid crystal light shutter for unpolarized light using polymer polarization gratings", Proc. SPIE 8052, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV, 80520R (May 13, 2011); doi:10.1117/12.887140; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.887140


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