Abstract

We present the realization of an electrically tunable wave plate, which uses a nematic liquid-crystal (LC) phase retarder that allows fast and continuous control of the polarization state. This device is built using a quadripolar electrode design and transparent conductive polymer layers in order to obtain a uniform electric field distribution in the interelectrode area. With this realization, we obtain a high degree of control of the orientation of the electric field and, consequently, of the LC director. Indeed, this modulator outperforms classical bipolar LC cells in both optical path variation (>4μm) and LC rotation speed (0.4°/μs).

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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