Abstract

We propose a transparent plate of a liquid-crystal grating to be used as a light guide for optical interconnection. To this end, we are empowering the connection itself with active functions, such as switching, wavelength division, power adjustment, etc. In experiments, we built a grating based on in-plane switching. It contains vertically-aligned nematic liquid-crystal molecules between a glass plate with a high refractive index (light guide) and another glass plate with a pair of interdigitated electrodes. Entering a TM wave from an edge of the light guide, we have demonstrated that the activation of diffraction and intensity adjustment for the guided light are both possible. Because a TE wave is barely diffracted, the device also exhibits polarization division capability.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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