We report on a multichannel liquid-crystal-based wave-front corrector with smooth modal influence functions. The phase is controlled by application of spatially localized ac voltages to a distributed voltage divider formed by a liquid-crystal layer sandwiched between a high-conductance and a low-conductance electrode. The shape of the influence function depends on the control frequency and material parameters of the distributed voltage divider. We have experimentally realized a reflective modulator controlled by an array of 16 × 16 electrodes, providing phase control with an amplitude of ~16π at λ =633 nm with a time constant of the order of tens of milliseconds. We experimentally demonstrated that the amplitude of each influence function can be controlled by change of the control voltage, whereas the width of the influence function is controlled by the frequency of the control voltage in a range of ~1 mm to the full width of the modulator aperture.
© 1998 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article