The physical mechanisms and regimes of light scattering in monodomain layers of ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) are studied for the first time as applied to light modulators intended for use in a multilayer volume screen of a three-dimensional display. Several types of light scattering are detected for various FLC-composite compositions, boundary conditions, and pulsed-control regimes of the FLC modulator. When light is scattered at transient domains in nonhelicoidal FLCs, the minimum total time for it to be switched on and off by bipolar pulses with an amplitude of 50 V is about 130 µs and does not exceed 500 µs in helicoidal FLCs; with bistable light scattering at ferroelectric domains in nonhelicoidal FLCs, this time approaches 250 µs. The results are evidence that the FLC modulators considered here can be used as a basis for creating volume screens with a depth of 30-100 cross sections. © 2005 Optical Society of America

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