Abstract

We report what is to our knowledge the first implementation of a broadband analog intensity modulator composed of two chiral smectic liquid-crystal half-wave retarders. A reflection-mode intensity modulator employing a single active device has also demonstrated achromatic transmission. A quantitative theory for chromatic compensation is presented. By optimum selection of liquid-crystal retardance and orientation, intensity transmission is uniform throughout the visible. The chiral smectic liquid-crystal devices used in the implementation are capable of switching in less than 20 μs.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
    [CrossRef]
  2. G. Sharp, “Chiral smectic liquid crystal tunable optical filters and modulators,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colo., 1992).
  3. S. Garoff, R. B. Meyer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 848 (1977).
    [CrossRef]
  4. The British Drug House mixture BDH 764E is available from Merck Ltd., WestQuay Road, Poole BH15 1HX, England.
  5. W. A. Shurcliff, S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1964), pp. 87–95.

1989 (1)

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

1977 (1)

S. Garoff, R. B. Meyer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 848 (1977).
[CrossRef]

Anderson, G.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Ballard, S. S.

W. A. Shurcliff, S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1964), pp. 87–95.

Dahl, I.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Garoff, S.

S. Garoff, R. B. Meyer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 848 (1977).
[CrossRef]

Komitov, L.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Lagerwall, S.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Meyer, R. B.

S. Garoff, R. B. Meyer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 848 (1977).
[CrossRef]

Sharp, G.

G. Sharp, “Chiral smectic liquid crystal tunable optical filters and modulators,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colo., 1992).

Shurcliff, W. A.

W. A. Shurcliff, S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1964), pp. 87–95.

Skarp, K.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Stebler, B.

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

G. Anderson, I. Dahl, L. Komitov, S. Lagerwall, K. Skarp, B. Stebler, J. Appl. Phys. 66, 4983 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

S. Garoff, R. B. Meyer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 848 (1977).
[CrossRef]

Other (3)

The British Drug House mixture BDH 764E is available from Merck Ltd., WestQuay Road, Poole BH15 1HX, England.

W. A. Shurcliff, S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1964), pp. 87–95.

G. Sharp, “Chiral smectic liquid crystal tunable optical filters and modulators,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colo., 1992).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic for a broadband analog intensity modulator based on a dual SmA* polarization rotator. The angles θ1 and θ2 are the absolute orientations of the retarder optic axes with respect to the incident ŷ-polarized light.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Theoretical comparison of the bandwidth of the on state of the dual SmA* modulator with the transmission of a single SmA* half-wave retarder between crossed polarizers and oriented at 45° with respect to the incident polarization.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Comparison of theoretical (solid curves) and experimental (dashed curves) transmission spectra for the analog intensity modulator parameterized by the difference angle α.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Experimental transmission spectrum for the reflection-mode analog intensity modulator with a single SmA* device and a compound achromatic quarter-wave retarder. Normalized intensity measurements are parameterized by the difference angle α.

Equations (8)

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S o ( λ , θ 1 , θ 2 ) = P x Q ( λ , θ 1 , θ 2 ) P y S i ,
T ( λ , θ 1 , θ 2 ) = 1 2 ( 1 - q 22 ) ,
Q ( λ , θ 1 , θ 2 ) = W ( Γ , θ 2 ) W ( Γ , θ 1 ) .
Γ ( λ ) = π Δ n ( λ ) Δ n ( λ 0 ) λ 0 λ ,
q 22 = sin 4 ( δ / 2 ) + cos 4 ( δ / 2 ) cos [ 4 ( θ 1 - θ 2 ) ] + sin 2 ( δ / 2 ) cos 2 ( δ / 2 ) [ cos ( 4 θ 1 ) + cos ( 4 θ 2 ) ] .
α = ( θ 1 - θ 2 2 ) ,             α 0 = ( θ 1 + θ 2 2 ) .
T ( λ , α 0 , α ) = sin 2 ( 4 α ) - sin 2 ( δ / 2 ) sin 2 ( 4 α ) - ( 1 / 2 ) sin 2 δ sin 2 ( 2 α ) × [ cos ( 4 α ) + cos ( 4 α 0 ) ] .
T ( λ , α ) = sin 2 ( 4 α ) - sin 2 ( δ / 2 ) sin 2 ( 4 α ) + sin 2 δ sin 4 ( 2 α ) .

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