Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel design configuration of double DHFLC wave plate continuous tunable Lyot filter, which exhibits a rapid response time of 185 μs, while the high-contrast ratio between the passband and stop band is maintained throughout a wide tunable range. A DHFLC tunable filter with a high-contrast ratio is attractive for realizing high-speed optical processing devices, such as multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems, real-time remote sensing, field sequential color display, and wavelength demultiplexing in the metro network. In this work, an experimental prototype for a single-stage DHFLC Lyot filter of this design has been fabricated using photoalignment technology. We have demonstrated that the filter has a continuous tunable range of 30 nm for a blue wavelength, 45 nm for a green wavelength, and more than 50 nm for a red wavelength when the applied voltage gradually increases from 0 to 8 V. Within this tunable range, the contrast ratio of the proposed double wave plate configuration is maintained above 20 with small deviation in the transmittance level. Simulation and experimental results showed the proposed double DHFLC wave plate configuration enhances the contrast ratio of the tunable filter and, thus, increases the tunable range of the filter when compared with the Lyot filter using a single DHFLC wave plate. Moreover, we have proposed a polarization insensitive configuration for which the efficiency of the existing prototype can theoretically be doubled by the use of polarization beam splitters.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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