Abstract

An optical switch based on a deformable liquid droplet is demonstrated. The device consists of a clear liquid droplet surrounded by a black liquid. In the voltage-off state, the incident light is absorbed by the black liquid. As the voltage increases, the dielectric force reshapes the droplet by uplifting its dome. As the dome touches the top substrate, a clear channel is opened, allowing the incident light to pass through. Once the voltage is removed, the deformed droplet relaxes back to its original shape and the channel is closed. Devices based on such an operation mechanism have potential applications in light shutters, variable optical attenuators, adaptive irises, and displays.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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References

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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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  13. H. Ren, S. Xu, and S. T. Wu, Opt. Commun. 283, 3255(2010).
    [CrossRef]

2010 (2)

2009 (2)

S. Xu, Y. J. Lin, and S. T. Wu, Opt. Express 17, 10499 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008 (2)

2007 (1)

2004 (1)

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003 (1)

R. A. Hayes and B. J. Feenstra, Nature 425, 383 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1994 (1)

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1992 (1)

D. K. Yang, L. C. Chien, and J. W. Doane, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 3102 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Adma, W. W.

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Bunning, T. J.

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Chen, C. C.

Chien, L. C.

D. K. Yang, L. C. Chien, and J. W. Doane, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 3102 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Clapp, L.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

De Nicola, S.

Doane, J. W.

D. K. Yang, L. C. Chien, and J. W. Doane, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 3102 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Drzaic, P. S.

P. S. Drzaic, Liquid Crystal Dispersions (World Scientific, 1995).

Feenstra, B. J.

R. A. Hayes and B. J. Feenstra, Nature 425, 383 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ferraro, P.

Finizio, A.

Grilli, S.

Hayes, R. A.

R. A. Hayes and B. J. Feenstra, Nature 425, 383 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Heikenfeld, J.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Hendriks, B. H. W.

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Kreit, E.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Kuiper, S.

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Lin, Y. J.

Miccio, L.

Milarcik, A.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Natarajan, L. V.

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Pohl, H. A.

H. A. Pohl, Dielectrophoresis (Cambridge U. Press, 1978).

Raj, B.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Ren, H.

Schwartz, R.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Sun, B.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Sutherland, R. L.

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Tondiglia, V. P.

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Vespini, V.

Wu, S. T.

Xianyu, H.

Xu, S.

Yang, D. K.

D. K. Yang, L. C. Chien, and J. W. Doane, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 3102 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Yang, S.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Yeh, J. A.

Zhou, K.

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (3)

D. K. Yang, L. C. Chien, and J. W. Doane, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 3102 (1992).
[CrossRef]

R. L. Sutherland, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, T. J. Bunning, and W. W. Adma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 1074 (1994).
[CrossRef]

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Nat. Photon. (1)

J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, Nat. Photon. 3, 292 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

R. A. Hayes and B. J. Feenstra, Nature 425, 383 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Commun. (1)

H. Ren, S. Xu, and S. T. Wu, Opt. Commun. 283, 3255(2010).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (5)

Other (2)

P. S. Drzaic, Liquid Crystal Dispersions (World Scientific, 1995).

H. A. Pohl, Dielectrophoresis (Cambridge U. Press, 1978).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic cross section of a liquid droplet cell in (a) voltage-off state and (b) voltage-on state.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Observed images of two droplets at V = 0 and 35 V rms under an optical microscope with white light.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Observed images of a relatively small droplet ( aperture 140 μm ) covered by a thicker ( 30 μm ) black liquid layer.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

(a) Voltage-dependent transmittance and (b) the measured response time of the droplet with V = 45 V rms ( 500 Hz ) and λ = 633 nm .

Equations (2)

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γ D , B cos θ = γ D , S γ B , S ,
γ D , B cos θ + F D E P = γ D , S γ B , S .

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