High-Speed Analog Achromatic Intensity Modulator

Jay Stockley, Gary Sharp, Dave Doroski, Kristina Johnson


We report what is to our knowledge the first implementation of a broadband analog intensity modulator composed of two chiral smectic liquid-crystal half-wave retarders. A reflection-mode intensity modulator employing a single active device has also demonstrated achromatic transmission. A quantitative theory for chromatic compensation is presented. By optimum selection of liquid-crystal retardance and orientation, intensity transmission is uniform throughout the visible. The chiral smectic liquid-crystal devices used in the implementation are capable of switching in less than 20 μs.

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