Liquid Crystal Polarization Grating (LCPG) Technology

Non-mechanically reconfigurable optics with vastly superior size, weight, and power requirements compared to their mechanical counterparts

LCPGs for Non-Mechanical Beam Steering and Switchable Optics

Liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs) are diffractive elements that provide near-100% diffraction for circularly polarized light. When layered with thin polarization-controlling liquid crystal elements, LCPGs provide a means of non-mechanically reconfiguring light into different states, such as for beam steering or focusing.

BNS has pioneered the use of LCPGs in non-mechanical beam steering and is the sole owner of the patent on this approach (US 8,982,313 B2) as well as other related patents.

    Steve Serati is the Chief Technology Officer at Boulder Nonlinear Systems.

    Liquid crystal polarization gratings enable steering and focusing of light with unparalleled performance and ease-of-integration.

    Steve Serati

    Chief Technology Officer

    LCPG-based Optics for Non-mechanical Beam Scanners

    Liquid crystal polarization gratings are also known as geometric phase gratings, Pancharatnam-Berry phase gratings, and diffractive waveplates. These transmissive gratings efficiently (> 99.5%) diffract circularly polarized light to either the first positive or negative order, based on the handedness of the incident light. By incorporating fast electro-optic half-wave polarization retarders to control the handedness of polarization, BNS can develop custom LCPG devices and systems with a range of leading capabilities:

    • Wide-angle beam steering > 100°
    • Large apertures > 20 cm
    • Sub-millisecond switching times
    • Dramatically reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements
    • Random-access and inertia-less beam steering
    • Dynamic focusing also available

    Industries Using LCPG Technology

    BNS has been providing LCPG-based non-mechanical beam steering solutions since 2007.

    Along with our customers, we have demonstrated this technology in a range of cutting-edge applications, from lidar to optical communications.

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