Abstract

The complex amplitude reflectance of the liquid crystal light valve (LCLV) is determined as a function of the writing intensity and applied voltage using an approximate model. The input and output polarizers are assumed to have arbitrary directions. The theoretical results based on this model match our experimental measurements. This theory allows us to optimize the operation of the LCLV as an intensity or phase-only spatial light modulator. When the polarizers are orthogonal and the input polarizer is at −34° with the front liquid crystal director, the intensity reflectance reaches 100% (compared to 81% for the conventional configuration). Phase-only modulation is realizable by use of appropriate applied voltage bias and configuration of polarizers.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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