Abstract

We have investigated the causes of low efficiency for optical beam steering devices based on liquid crystal decentered microlens arrays (DLAs). We show that the efficiency is effected by the relative phase of light exiting the individual lenses, the imperfect focusing of small lenses due to diffraction, the aberrations related to off-axis light going through a lens, and the diffraction spreading of light beams going through the DLA structure. A high steering efficiency of over 94.4% is demonstrated by modeling the transmitted light through the DLA with scalar diffraction theory. We also propose modified phase profiles for the lenses that are a function of angle that substantially improve the performance of these types of device over the unmodified profiles.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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