The theoretical design and fabrication of a prism-coupled polarization conversion ferroelectric liquid-crystal light-modulator
Thin Solid Films, 230, (2), . (doi:10.1016/0040-6090(93)90518-T).
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It is possible to probe directly the optical dielectric tensor configuration within thin smectic layers (less than 6 µm thick) of ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) by the propagation of optical prism-coupled leaky Fabry-Pérot modes. Incident polarized monochromatic light couples into the resonant modes of the system and may be coupled out of the cell in an orthogonal polarization. The observed reflectivity is a series of sharp peaks on a low background response at certain well-defined incident angles. These sharp resonant features make the prism-coupling technique a possible route for commercial fabrication of voltage-modulated devices. However, previous prism-coupled cells with sharp resonant guided mode features are not practical from a device point of view because they incorporate silver layers not used in conventional cell design. In this paper we demonstrate for the first time operating a leaky guided mode FLC cell with conventional surface layers, in a sp-mixed polarization mode of operation, allows sharp features to be observed which are modulated in intensity by an applied d.c. voltage. The prism-coupled cells used here are designed to be compatible with current FLC device technology.
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