Abstract

We describe a broadband achromatic half-wave retarder for normally incident light of arbitrary polarization. The device consists of a stack of one nematic liquid-crystal cell with uniform alignment sandwiched between two twisted nematic layers that have identical twist angles (135°) but different orientations of their surface alignment. As a specific application, for light with linear polarization at 45° to the optic axis of the homogeneous cell the stack functions efficiently as an optical switch. The switch rotates the incident linear polarization by 90° in the absence of an electric field. When sufficiently high voltage is applied to all three layers, the device produces a near-zero effect on the incident polarization. An achromatic response in the spectral range 400–700 nm is achieved for both activated and quiescent states.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. C. H. Gooch and H. A. Tarry, J. Phys. D 8, 1575 (1975).
    [CrossRef]
  2. G. D. Sharp and K. M. Johnson, “Liquid crystal achromatic compound retarder,” U.S. patent5,658,490 (August19, 1997).
  3. Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  4. T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
  5. J. R. Kelly, H. J. Yuan, and Q. Li, “An achromatic liquid crystal electro-optic modulator,” U.S. patent Appl. COAD-003/01US, 10/035,804 (filed December28, 2001).
  6. E. P. Raynes, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Lett. 4, 69 (1987).
  7. D. W. Berreman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 502 (1972).
  8. R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).
  9. T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
    [CrossRef]

2003 (1)

T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2000 (1)

Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1998 (1)

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1995 (1)

R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).

1987 (1)

E. P. Raynes, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Lett. 4, 69 (1987).

1975 (1)

C. H. Gooch and H. A. Tarry, J. Phys. D 8, 1575 (1975).
[CrossRef]

1972 (1)

Berreman, D. W.

Gooch, C. H.

C. H. Gooch and H. A. Tarry, J. Phys. D 8, 1575 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Herke, R.

R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).

Huang, Y.

T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Jamal, S. H.

R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).

Johnson, K. M.

G. D. Sharp and K. M. Johnson, “Liquid crystal achromatic compound retarder,” U.S. patent5,658,490 (August19, 1997).

Kelly, J.

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Kelly, J. R.

R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).

J. R. Kelly, H. J. Yuan, and Q. Li, “An achromatic liquid crystal electro-optic modulator,” U.S. patent Appl. COAD-003/01US, 10/035,804 (filed December28, 2001).

Kim, Y. J.

Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Li, Q.

J. R. Kelly, H. J. Yuan, and Q. Li, “An achromatic liquid crystal electro-optic modulator,” U.S. patent Appl. COAD-003/01US, 10/035,804 (filed December28, 2001).

Liu, W.

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Patel, J. S.

Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Raynes, E. P.

E. P. Raynes, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Lett. 4, 69 (1987).

Sergan, T.

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Sharp, G. D.

G. D. Sharp and K. M. Johnson, “Liquid crystal achromatic compound retarder,” U.S. patent5,658,490 (August19, 1997).

Tarry, H. A.

C. H. Gooch and H. A. Tarry, J. Phys. D 8, 1575 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Wu, S.-T.

T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Wu, T. X.

T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Yoshimi, H.

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Yuan, H. J.

J. R. Kelly, H. J. Yuan, and Q. Li, “An achromatic liquid crystal electro-optic modulator,” U.S. patent Appl. COAD-003/01US, 10/035,804 (filed December28, 2001).

Zhuang, Z.

Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

Z. Zhuang, Y. J. Kim, and J. S. Patel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3995 (2000).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (1)

J. Phys. D (1)

C. H. Gooch and H. A. Tarry, J. Phys. D 8, 1575 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. (2)

T. X. Wu, Y. Huang, and S.-T. Wu, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, L39 (2003).
[CrossRef]

T. Sergan, W. Liu, J. Kelly, and H. Yoshimi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37, 889 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Lett. (1)

E. P. Raynes, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Lett. 4, 69 (1987).

SID J. (1)

R. Herke, S. H. Jamal, and J. R. Kelly, SID J. 3/1, 9 (1995).

Other (2)

J. R. Kelly, H. J. Yuan, and Q. Li, “An achromatic liquid crystal electro-optic modulator,” U.S. patent Appl. COAD-003/01US, 10/035,804 (filed December28, 2001).

G. D. Sharp and K. M. Johnson, “Liquid crystal achromatic compound retarder,” U.S. patent5,658,490 (August19, 1997).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the broadband achromatic half-wave retarder.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Polarization curves for the switchable half-wave retarder as viewed on the Poincaré sphere: (a), (b) inactivated state; (c) activated state.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Transmission of light through the achromatic half-wave plate placed between parallel polarizers. Each curve represents a different orientation of the polarizers (in degrees) with respect to the rub direction.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Modeled and measured transmission spectra of the device.

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