256 x 256 Liquid-Crystal-on-Silicon Spatial Light Modulator

Douglas McKnight, Kristina Johnson, Roylnn Serati

Published by Optical Society of America, 1994


A 256 x 256 pixel spatial light modulator (SLM) is designed and constructed by the use of liquid-crystal-on-silicon technology. The device is a binary electrically addressed SLM with a measured zero-order contrast ratio of 70:1 and an imaged contrast ratio of 10:1. The pixel pitch is 21.6 μm, which gives an array size of 5.53 mm. The electronic load time is 43 μs, and the 10%-90% switching time of the liquid crystal is ~ 75-80 μs at room temperature, which implies a maximum frame rate of ~ 8.3 kHz. We discuss the design trade-offs that are intrinsic to this type of device and describe how the primary application for the device in an optical correlator influenced the final design.

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