Abstract

A diffraction modulator that exploits the transverse electro-optic effect in ferroelectric liquid crystals is proposed for applications in displays and in spatial light modulators. Experiments with a short-pitch ferroelectric liquid crystal aligned homeotropically show an achromatic contrast ratio of greater than 100:1 available with oblique readout. The sources of the contrast deterioration and the tolerance of the proposed scheme to this deterioration are analyzed. For selected directions of readout the light output obtains low sensitivity to the polarization of the readout light. Nonlaser light sources can be used in a practical display setup based on the proposed principle.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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