Structured Polymer/Liquid Crystal for Switchable Diffractive and Micro-Optics

Darius Subacius, Jay Stockley, Steven Serati

Published in SPIE Proceedings Volume 3778, Gradient Index, Miniature, and Diffractive Optical Systems; (1999) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.363759

Abstract

Polymer dispersed liquid crystals are generally described as a system with an isotropic liquid crystal (LC) droplet distribution in a polymer matrix. Using masked ultraviolet light and/or applied electric field a structured polymer/LC phase separation can be achieved. One technological advantage is the potential for integrated polymer/LC devices. This approach can be used to manufacture miniature switchable optical components such as diffractive gratings and switchable microlenses.

We investigate switchable diffractive gratings based on a structured polymer/LC system. LC director modeling is used to take into account the polymer regions and electric field orientation when the device thickness is comparable with the electrode period. Optical diffraction properties are compared with results of the theoretical modeling.

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