Abstract

We demonstrate a variable optical attenuator (VOA) at λ=1.55 µm using a sheared polymer network liquid crystal (SPNLC). The SPNLC exhibits a fast response time and weak wavelength dependency. Comparing with other polymer-stabilized liquid crystals, the SPNLC has lower driving voltage and negligible light scattering loss when the wavelength exceeds 700 nm. A reflection type VOA with ~0.24 ms response time and -32 dB dynamic range is demonstrated at room temperature and 35 Vrms voltage.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |

  1. R. A. Soref and D. H. McMahon, ???Total switching of unpolarized fiber light with a four-port electro-optic liquid-crystal device,??? Opt. Lett. 5, 147-149 (1980).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. E. G. Hanson, ???Polarization-independent liquid-crystal optical attenuator for fiberoptics applications,??? Appl. Opt. 21, 1342-1344 (1982).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. K. Hirabayashi, M. Wada, and C. Amano, "Optical-fiber variable-attenuator arrays using polymer-network liquid crystal,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 13, 487-489 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  4. J. J. Pan, H. Wu, W. Wang, X. Qiu, and J. Jiang, ???Temperature independent, accurate LC VOA through electric feedback control,??? in Proceedings of National Fiber Optics Engineers Conference (Telcordia, Orlando, Florida, 2003), 943-949.
  5. C. Mao, M. Xu, W. Feng, T. Huang, K. Wu, and J. Wu, ???Liquid-crystal applications in optical telecommunication,??? in Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications IX, L. C. Chien, ed., Proc. SPIE 5003, 121-129 (2003).
  6. S. T. Wu and D. K. Yang, Reflective Liquid Crystal Displays (Wiley, New York, 2001).
  7. S. Gauza, H. Wang, C. H. Wen, S. T. Wu, A. J. Seed and R. Dabrowski, ???High birefringence isothiocyanato tolane liquid crystals,??? Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1 42, 3463-3466 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
  8. R. A. M. Hikmet, ???Electrically induced light scattering from anisotropic gels, ??? J. Appl. Phys. 68, 4406-4412 (1990).
    [CrossRef]
  9. Y. Q. Lu, F. Du, Y. H. Lin and S. T. Wu, ???Variable optical attenuator based on polymer-stabilized twisted nematic liquid crystal,??? Opt. Express 12, 1221-1227 (2004). <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-7-1221">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-7-1221</a>
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. F. Du, Y. Q. Lu, H. W. Ren, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, ???Polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystal for polarization-independent variable optical attenuator,??? Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 43, 7083???7086 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  11. F. Du, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, ???Influence of curing temperature and high birefringence on the properties of polymer-stabilized liquid crystals,??? Opt. Express 11, 2891-2896 (2003). <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-11-22-2891">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-11-22-2891</a>
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. J. L. West, G. Zhang, and A. Glushchenko, ???Stressed liquid crystals for electrically controlled fast shift of phase retardation,??? Soc. Information Display, Tech. Digest 34, 1469-1471 (2003).
  13. Y. H. Fan, Y. H. Lin, H. Ren, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, ???Fast-response and scattering-free polymer network liquid crystals for infrared light modulators,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 1233-1235 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  14. O. A. Aphonin , Y. V. Panina, A. B. Pravdin, and D. A. Yakovlev, ???Optical-properties of stretched polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal films,??? Liq. Cryst. 15, 395-407 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  15. I. Amimori, J. N.Eakin, G. P.Crawford, N. V.Priezjev, and R. A. Pelcovits, ???Optical and mechanical properties of stretched PDLC films for scattering polarizers,??? Soc. Information Display, Tech. Digest 33, 834-837 (2002)
  16. P. Sixou, C. Gautier, and H. Villanova, ???Nematic and cholesteric PDLC elaborated under shear stress,??? Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 364, 679-690 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  17. V. Vorflusev and S. Kumar, ???Phase-separated composite films for liquid crystal displays??? Science 283, 1903-1905 (1999).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

Y. H. Fan, Y. H. Lin, H. Ren, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, ???Fast-response and scattering-free polymer network liquid crystals for infrared light modulators,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 1233-1235 (2004).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (1)

K. Hirabayashi, M. Wada, and C. Amano, "Optical-fiber variable-attenuator arrays using polymer-network liquid crystal,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 13, 487-489 (2001).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

R. A. M. Hikmet, ???Electrically induced light scattering from anisotropic gels, ??? J. Appl. Phys. 68, 4406-4412 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. (1)

F. Du, Y. Q. Lu, H. W. Ren, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, ???Polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystal for polarization-independent variable optical attenuator,??? Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 43, 7083???7086 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1 (1)

S. Gauza, H. Wang, C. H. Wen, S. T. Wu, A. J. Seed and R. Dabrowski, ???High birefringence isothiocyanato tolane liquid crystals,??? Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1 42, 3463-3466 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Liq. Cryst. (1)

O. A. Aphonin , Y. V. Panina, A. B. Pravdin, and D. A. Yakovlev, ???Optical-properties of stretched polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal films,??? Liq. Cryst. 15, 395-407 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (1)

P. Sixou, C. Gautier, and H. Villanova, ???Nematic and cholesteric PDLC elaborated under shear stress,??? Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 364, 679-690 (2001).
[CrossRef]

National Fiber Optics Engineers Conf. (1)

J. J. Pan, H. Wu, W. Wang, X. Qiu, and J. Jiang, ???Temperature independent, accurate LC VOA through electric feedback control,??? in Proceedings of National Fiber Optics Engineers Conference (Telcordia, Orlando, Florida, 2003), 943-949.

Opt. Express (2)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Proc. SPIE (1)

C. Mao, M. Xu, W. Feng, T. Huang, K. Wu, and J. Wu, ???Liquid-crystal applications in optical telecommunication,??? in Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications IX, L. C. Chien, ed., Proc. SPIE 5003, 121-129 (2003).

Science (1)

V. Vorflusev and S. Kumar, ???Phase-separated composite films for liquid crystal displays??? Science 283, 1903-1905 (1999).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Soc. Information Display, Tech. Digest (2)

I. Amimori, J. N.Eakin, G. P.Crawford, N. V.Priezjev, and R. A. Pelcovits, ???Optical and mechanical properties of stretched PDLC films for scattering polarizers,??? Soc. Information Display, Tech. Digest 33, 834-837 (2002)

J. L. West, G. Zhang, and A. Glushchenko, ???Stressed liquid crystals for electrically controlled fast shift of phase retardation,??? Soc. Information Display, Tech. Digest 34, 1469-1471 (2003).

Other (1)

S. T. Wu and D. K. Yang, Reflective Liquid Crystal Displays (Wiley, New York, 2001).

Cited By

OSA participates in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Shearing processes and LC domain orientations of the SPNLC film. (a) Before and (b) after shearing.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

The schematic diagram of a SPNLC-based VOA.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

The detailed operation mechanisms of the phase modulator module: (a) VOA ON state, V=0, and (b) VOA OFF state, V=35 Vrms. HW: half-wave plate, QW: quarter-wave plate, and SPNLC: sheared polymer network liquid crystal.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

The VOA attenuation at different drive voltages. λ=1.55 µm.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Optical response time of the 9-µm SPNLC VOA: (a) decay time, and (b) rise time.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Wavelength-dependent transmittance of the E7 SPNLC cell. d~9 µm.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

The wavelength-dependent attenuations of the VOA at different attenuation range.

Metrics