Abstract

Anisotropic phase separation has been used to fabricate an electrically switchable microlens array from nematic liquid crystals. Nematic liquid-crystal-based microlens arrays have been built with diameters of 400 µm and natural focal lengths as small as 1.6 mm. The focal length of each microlens in the array can be changed in milliseconds by an applied electric field. These devices, which have no internal substructures to scatter light, offer higher efficiency and greater light throughput than polymer dispersed devices.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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