Abstract

One of the key technologies to evolve in the displays market in recent years is liquid crystal over silicon (LCOS) microdisplays. Traditional LCOS devices and applications such as rear projection televisions, have been based on intensity modulation electro-optical effects, however, recent developments have shown that multi-level phase modulation from these devices is extremely sought after for applications such as holographic projectors, optical correlators and adaptive optics. Here, we propose alternative device geometry based on the flexoelectric-optic effect in a chiral nematic liquid crystal. This device is capable of delivering a multilevel phase shift at response times less than 100 μsec which has been verified by phase shift interferometry using an LCOS test device. The flexoelectric on silicon device, due to its remarkable characteristics, enables the next generation of holographic devices to be realized.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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  1. M. L. Jepsen, "A technology rollercoaster Liquid crystal on silicon," Nat. Photonics 1, 276 - 277 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  2. T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
  3. S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  4. C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and T. D. Wilkinson, "Free Space Adaptive Optical Interconnect at 1.25 Gb/s, With Beam Steering Using a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal SLM," J. Lightwave Technol. 24, 1989-1997 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  5. R. B. Meyer, "Piezoelectric Effects in Liquid Crystals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 918 (1969).
    [CrossRef]
  6. J. S Patel and R. B. Meyer, "Flexoelectric electro-optics of a cholesteric liquid crystal," Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1538 (1987).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  8. H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  9. C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  10. H. J. Coles and M. N. Pivnenko, "Liquid crystal ‘blue phase’ with a wide temperature range," Nature 436, 997-1000 (2005).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  12. J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
    [CrossRef]

2007 (2)

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

M. L. Jepsen, "A technology rollercoaster Liquid crystal on silicon," Nat. Photonics 1, 276 - 277 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (3)

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and T. D. Wilkinson, "Free Space Adaptive Optical Interconnect at 1.25 Gb/s, With Beam Steering Using a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal SLM," J. Lightwave Technol. 24, 1989-1997 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (2)

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

H. J. Coles and M. N. Pivnenko, "Liquid crystal ‘blue phase’ with a wide temperature range," Nature 436, 997-1000 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2001 (2)

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1994 (1)

T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1987 (1)

J. S Patel and R. B. Meyer, "Flexoelectric electro-optics of a cholesteric liquid crystal," Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1538 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1969 (1)

R. B. Meyer, "Piezoelectric Effects in Liquid Crystals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 918 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Blatch, A. E.

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Broughton, B. J.

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Chen, J.

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Clarke, M. J.

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Coles, H. J.

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

H. J. Coles and M. N. Pivnenko, "Liquid crystal ‘blue phase’ with a wide temperature range," Nature 436, 997-1000 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Coles, M. J.

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Collings, N.

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Crossland, W. A.

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Henderson, C. J.

C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and T. D. Wilkinson, "Free Space Adaptive Optical Interconnect at 1.25 Gb/s, With Beam Steering Using a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal SLM," J. Lightwave Technol. 24, 1989-1997 (2006).
[CrossRef]

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Jepsen, M. L.

M. L. Jepsen, "A technology rollercoaster Liquid crystal on silicon," Nat. Photonics 1, 276 - 277 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Leyva, D. G.

C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and T. D. Wilkinson, "Free Space Adaptive Optical Interconnect at 1.25 Gb/s, With Beam Steering Using a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal SLM," J. Lightwave Technol. 24, 1989-1997 (2006).
[CrossRef]

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Manolis, L. G.

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Mears, R. J.

T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Meyer, R. B.

J. S Patel and R. B. Meyer, "Flexoelectric electro-optics of a cholesteric liquid crystal," Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1538 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. B. Meyer, "Piezoelectric Effects in Liquid Crystals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 918 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Mias, S.

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Morris, S. M.

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Musgrave, B.

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Niwano, H.

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Noot, C.

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

O’Brien, D. C.

T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Patel, J. S

J. S Patel and R. B. Meyer, "Flexoelectric electro-optics of a cholesteric liquid crystal," Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1538 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Perkins, S. P.

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Pivnenko, M. N.

H. J. Coles and M. N. Pivnenko, "Liquid crystal ‘blue phase’ with a wide temperature range," Nature 436, 997-1000 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Takezoe, H

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Thisayukta, J.

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Watanabe, J.

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Wilkinson, T. D.

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and T. D. Wilkinson, "Free Space Adaptive Optical Interconnect at 1.25 Gb/s, With Beam Steering Using a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal SLM," J. Lightwave Technol. 24, 1989-1997 (2006).
[CrossRef]

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

J. Chen, S. M. Morris, T. D. Wilkinson, and H. J. Coles, "Reversible color switching from blue to red in a polymer stabilized chrial nematic liquid crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121118 (2007).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

H. J. Coles, M. J. Clarke, S. M. Morris, B. J. Broughton, and A. E. Blatch, "Strong flexoelectric behavior in bimesogenic liquid crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 99, 034104 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol. (1)

J. Mater. Chem. (2)

T. D. Wilkinson, C. J. Henderson, D. G. Leyva, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase modulation with the next generation of liquid crystal over silicon technology," J. Mater. Chem. 16, 3359-3365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Thisayukta, H. Niwano, H Takezoe and J. Watanabe, "Effect of chiral dopant on a helical Sm1 phase of banana-shaped N-n-O-PIMB molecules," J. Mater. Chem. 11, 2717 - 2721 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (1)

C. Noot, M. J. Coles, B. Musgrave, S. P. Perkins, and H. J. Coles, "The flexoelectric behaviour of a hypertwisted chiral nematic liquid crystal," Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 366, 725- 733 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Nat. Photonics (1)

M. L. Jepsen, "A technology rollercoaster Liquid crystal on silicon," Nat. Photonics 1, 276 - 277 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

H. J. Coles and M. N. Pivnenko, "Liquid crystal ‘blue phase’ with a wide temperature range," Nature 436, 997-1000 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Commun. (1)

T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O’Brien, and R. J. Mears, "Dynamic asymmetric binary holograms using ferroelectric liquid crystals spatial light modulator," Opt. Commun. 109, 222-226 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Eng. (1)

S. Mias, L. G. Manolis, N. Collings, T. D. Wilkinson, and W. A. Crossland, "Phase-modulating bistable optically addressed spatial light modulators using wide switching-angle ferroelectric liquid crystal layer," Opt. Eng. 44, 014003 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (2)

R. B. Meyer, "Piezoelectric Effects in Liquid Crystals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 918 (1969).
[CrossRef]

J. S Patel and R. B. Meyer, "Flexoelectric electro-optics of a cholesteric liquid crystal," Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1538 (1987).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

The advanced grating chip, a custom 540x1 LCOS device used in telecommunications and adaptive optics applications [7].

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

A schematic of the LCOS device viewed from the top and side.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

The experimental setup to measure the phase shift and response times of the LCOS device.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Optical micrographs depicting the ULH alignment of the chiral nematic liquid crystal in the LCOS device.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Flexoelectro-optic response of the LCOS device in terms of intensity modulation. The tilt angle (a) and response time (b) of the chiral nematic liquid crystal mixture for both the glass cell and the LCOS device.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Phase modulation of the nematic LCOS device. (a) Pictures of the far-field interference for different applied voltages. (b) Plot of the phase shift as a function of voltage. The red line represents the Sigmoidal fit of plot. (c) The response times of the phase shift as a function of electric field for different frequencies.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Phase modulation of the flexoelectro-optic LCOS device. (a) Pictures of the far-field interference for different applied voltages. (b) Plot of the phase-shift as a function of voltage. The red line represents a linear fit to the plot. (c) The response times of the phase shift for different frequencies.

Equations (2)

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ϕ eEp K 2 π
τ = γ K p 2 4 π 2

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