An electrically tunable Lyot type filter is a Lyot that include one or more filter elements. Each filter element may have a planar, solid crystal comprised of a material that exhibits birefringence and is electro-optically active. Transparent electrodes may be coated on each face of the crystal. An input linear light polarizer may be located on one side of the crystal and oriented at 45 degrees to the optical axis of the birefringent crystal. An output linear light polarizer may be located on the other side of the crystal and oriented at -45 degrees with respect to the optical axis of the birefringent crystal. When an electric voltage is applied between the electrodes, the retardation of the crystal changes and so does the spectral transmission of the optical filter.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of DE-FG02-99ER54520 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.