Abstract

Nematic liquid crystal behaves like an optically uniaxial crystal whose optical axis coincides with the direction of molecular orientation. When an electric field is applied, a lateral shear of incident light is induced, depending on the angle of molecular inclination. While this may degrade the image quality for display applications, the precise electrical tunability of the lateral shear distance is desirable for differential interference contrast (DIC) imaging. In this Letter, a pair of twisted nematic (TN) cells is used for DIC imaging instead of the normal DIC prisms, and the unique optical properties of the TN cell are investigated for DIC imaging applications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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