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Nanosecond liquid crystalline optical modulator

United States Patent

9,400,412
July 26, 2016
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An optical modulator includes a liquid crystal cell containing liquid crystal material having liquid crystal molecules oriented along a quiescent director direction in the unbiased state, and a voltage source configured to apply an electric field to the liquid crystal material wherein the direction of the applied electric field does not cause the quiescent director direction to change. An optical source is arranged to transmit light through or reflect light off the liquid crystal cell with the light passing through the liquid crystal material at an angle effective to undergo phase retardation in response to the voltage source applying the electric field. The liquid crystal material may have negative dielectric anisotropy, and the voltage source configured to apply an electric field to the liquid crystal material whose electric field vector is transverse to the quiescent director direction. Alternatively, the liquid crystal material may have positive dielectric anisotropy and the voltage source configured to apply an electric field to the liquid crystal material whose electric field vector is parallel with the quiescent director direction.
Borshch; Volodymyr (Kent, OH), Shiyanovskii; Sergij V. (Stow, OH), Lavrentovich; Oleg D. (Kent, OH)
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY (Kent, OH)
14/ 332,502
20160018679
July 16, 2014
This invention was made with Government support under grant/contract no. DE-FG02-06ER 46331 awarded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The Government has certain rights in this invention.