Abstract

We present a polymeric optical phase retarder that is electrically tunable by a dielectric elastomer actuator. The soft material device affords a large tuning range (14π at λ=488nm) combined with high accuracy in optical path length and low drift rate (8.3nmmin). Furthermore, the phase retarder is not sensitive to polarization, introduces a wavefront distortion <λ30, and tolerates high power densities (>141kWcm2). We show the dynamics for periodic phase modulation and demonstrate a simple drive technique for fast phase stepping. The polymer-based device is inexpensive, easy to fabricate, and its design can be adapted to specific applications.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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2008 (2)

M. Beck, M. Aschwanden, and A. Stemmer, J. Microsc. 232, 99 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. K. Wilson and L. Y. Lin, J. Micromech. Syst. 17, 1039 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (4)

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

M. Aschwanden, M. Beck, and A. Stemmer, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1090 (2007).
[CrossRef]

A. Patil and P. Rastogi, Opt. Lasers Eng. 45, 253 (2007).
[CrossRef]

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2006 (1)

2005 (3)

2004 (1)

2003 (1)

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2001 (2)

2000 (1)

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1999 (1)

P. Hariharan and P. E. Ciddor, Opt. Eng. 38, 1078 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

1994 (1)

R. M. A. Azzam and A. M. Kan'an, Pure Appl. Opt. 3, 1 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1985 (1)

Aschwanden, M.

M. Beck, M. Aschwanden, and A. Stemmer, J. Microsc. 232, 99 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Aschwanden, M. Beck, and A. Stemmer, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1090 (2007).
[CrossRef]

M. Aschwanden and A. Stemmer, Opt. Lett. 31, 2610 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Azzam, R. M. A.

R. M. A. Azzam and A. M. Kan'an, Pure Appl. Opt. 3, 1 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Baba, N.

Badizadegan, K.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Beck, M.

M. Beck, M. Aschwanden, and A. Stemmer, J. Microsc. 232, 99 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Aschwanden, M. Beck, and A. Stemmer, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1090 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Cai, L. Z.

Cheng, Y. Y.

Chicharo, J.

Chòi, W.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ciddor, P. E.

P. Hariharan and P. E. Ciddor, Opt. Eng. 38, 1078 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Dasari, R. R.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Davis, J.

Drexler, W.

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Fan, Y. H.

H. W. Ren, Y. H. Lin, Y. H. Fan, and S. T. Wu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 14110 (2005).

Fang-Yen, C.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Feld, M. S.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fercher, A. F.

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Ha, S. M.

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Hariharan, P.

P. Hariharan and P. E. Ciddor, Opt. Eng. 38, 1078 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Hitzenberger, C. K.

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Ishigaki, T.

Joseph, J.

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kan'an, A. M.

R. M. A. Azzam and A. M. Kan'an, Pure Appl. Opt. 3, 1 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Kim, M. K.

Kornbluh, R.

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lasser, T.

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Li, E. B.

Lin, L. Y.

B. K. Wilson and L. Y. Lin, J. Micromech. Syst. 17, 1039 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Lin, Y. H.

H. W. Ren, Y. H. Lin, Y. H. Fan, and S. T. Wu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 14110 (2005).

Liu, Q.

Lo, C. M.

Lue, N.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mann, C. J.

Murakami, N.

Oh, S.

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Patil, A.

A. Patil and P. Rastogi, Opt. Lasers Eng. 45, 253 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Pei, Q.

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Pei, Q. B.

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Pelrine, R.

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rastogi, P.

A. Patil and P. Rastogi, Opt. Lasers Eng. 45, 253 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Ren, H. W.

H. W. Ren, Y. H. Lin, Y. H. Fan, and S. T. Wu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 14110 (2005).

Sampson, D. D.

Stanford, S.

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Stemmer, A.

M. Beck, M. Aschwanden, and A. Stemmer, J. Microsc. 232, 99 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Aschwanden, M. Beck, and A. Stemmer, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1090 (2007).
[CrossRef]

M. Aschwanden and A. Stemmer, Opt. Lett. 31, 2610 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Tango, W. J.

Wilson, B. K.

B. K. Wilson and L. Y. Lin, J. Micromech. Syst. 17, 1039 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Wu, S. T.

H. W. Ren, Y. H. Lin, Y. H. Fan, and S. T. Wu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 14110 (2005).

Wyant, J. C.

Xi, J. T.

Yang, X. L.

Yao, J. Q.

Yu, D. Y.

Yu, L. F.

Yuan, W.

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Zvyagin, A. V.

Appl. Opt. (2)

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

H. W. Ren, Y. H. Lin, Y. H. Fan, and S. T. Wu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 14110 (2005).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (1)

M. Aschwanden, M. Beck, and A. Stemmer, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1090 (2007).
[CrossRef]

J. Micromech. Syst. (1)

B. K. Wilson and L. Y. Lin, J. Micromech. Syst. 17, 1039 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. Microsc. (1)

M. Beck, M. Aschwanden, and A. Stemmer, J. Microsc. 232, 99 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nat. Methods (1)

W. Chòi, C. Fang-Yen, K. Badizadegan, S. Oh, N. Lue, R. R. Dasari, and M. S. Feld, Nat. Methods 4, 717 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Eng. (1)

P. Hariharan and P. E. Ciddor, Opt. Eng. 38, 1078 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lasers Eng. (1)

A. Patil and P. Rastogi, Opt. Lasers Eng. 45, 253 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (5)

Pure Appl. Opt. (1)

R. M. A. Azzam and A. M. Kan'an, Pure Appl. Opt. 3, 1 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Rep. Prog. Phys. (1)

A. F. Fercher, W. Drexler, C. K. Hitzenberger, and T. Lasser, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 239 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Science (1)

R. Pelrine, R. Kornbluh, Q. B. Pei, and J. Joseph, Science 287, 836 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Smart Mater. Struct. (1)

S. M. Ha, W. Yuan, Q. Pei, R. Pelrine, and S. Stanford, Smart Mater. Struct. 16, S280 (2007).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic top view and cross section of the phase retarder. (a) Stretched polymer film with compliant carbon black electrodes mounted in holder. (b) Applying a voltage ( U 0 ) to the electrodes results in a thickness strain of the transparent area inside the electrodes and, therefore, in a change of the optical phase Δ φ of a transmitted light beam. (c) Measured shift-voltage characteristic for λ = 488 nm (squares) with line fit using Eq. (3).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Dynamics of the phase retarder for λ = 488 nm . (a) Dependence of the shift amplitude on the driving frequency for square wave drive (squares), sinusoidal drive (dots), and sawtooth drive (triangles) of 3.4 kV peak-to-peak. The inset shows the measured step response ( 3.3 2.9 kV ) and fitted curve derived from harmonic oscillator model. (b) Time characteristic for discrete phase stepping by Δ φ = π 2 with undershoot drive voltage. The initial voltage of U = 3.4 kV was set to 0 V for 70 ms before applying the target voltage of U = 3.3 kV .

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Wavefront distribution of a plane wave after passing through the elastomer film. (a) The absolute distortion over an area of 4 mm 2 amounts to λ 4 at 488 nm . (b) The relative wavefront distortion when shifting the phase by one period is λ 30 .

Equations (3)

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s z , tr = ε ε 0 A el U 2 A tr Y d 2 α U 2 .
φ = 2 π ( n 1 ) λ d ,
Δ φ = 2 π ( n 1 ) λ α U 2 .

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