Advances in Polarization-Based Liquid Crystal Optical Filters

Xiaowei Xia, Jay Stockley, Teresa Ewing, Steven Serati

Published in SPIE Proceedings Volume 4658, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications VIII; (2002)


Liquid crystal tunable filters are gaining wide acceptance in such diverse areas as optical fiber communications, astronomy, remote sensing, pollution monitoring, color generation for display and medical diagnostics. The large aperture and imaging capability of liquid crystal tunable filters represent a distinct advantage over conventional dispersive spectral analysis techniques. Furthermore, benefits of liquid crystal tunable filters over acousto-optic tunable filters include low power consumption, low addressing voltage, excellent image quality and large clear aperture. We discuss polarization interference filters based on liquid crystal tuning elements. While liquid crystal tunable filters based nematic liquid crystal, using Fabry-Perot and polarization interference effects are commercially developed, only recently has the emphasis been on liquid crystal tunable filters to include current novel developments in high-speed, analog ferroelectric-liquid crystals (FLCs). Compared to nematic liquid crystal, FLC-based tunable optical filters offer fast response time and increased field-of-view.

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