Abstract

A detailed simulation of the fringing-field effect in liquid-crystal (LC)-based blazed-grating structures has been carried out. These studies are aimed at clarifying the relationship between the width of the fringing-field-broadened phase profile of the blazed grating and the LC cell thickness. This fringing-field broadening of the blazed grating’s phase profile is shown to affect mostly the 2π phase-step zone (fly-back zone) of the blazed grating. The results of the simulations carried out on the blazed-grating structure indicate two main effects of the fringing field: (1) reduction in the attainable diffraction efficiency and (2) limitation of the maximum deflection angle of the device. Both effects are shown to be directly linked to the broadening of the fly-back zone, which is shown to be proportional to the LC cell thickness.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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