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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 41, Iss. 7 — Mar. 1, 2002
  • pp: 1291–1296

Liquid-crystal micropolarizer array for polarization-difference imaging

Cindy K. Harnett and Harold. G. Craighead  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 41, Issue 7, pp. 1291-1296 (2002)

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Fabrication and applications are discussed for a visible-wavelength micropolarizer array consisting of a linear polarizer and a micropatterned liquid-crystal (LC) cell. LC alignment direction is controlled by means of depositing an optically transparent gold film at an oblique angle and coating the surface with an alkanethiol self-assembled monolayer. Microdomains of two perpendicular LC alignment directions are created by photolithography and etching of the gold layer, rotating the substrate 90 deg, and depositing a second oblique gold layer in the etched areas. The resulting array is used for polarization-difference imaging (PDI), a technique that enhances image contrast in the presence of scattering. Images obtained with the array require more processing than do conventional PDI images, but this method eliminates the need for an electronically activated LC filter and is especially suited to systems whose filters are closely integrated with optical sensor arrays.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.2550) Image processing : Focal-plane-array image processors
(100.2980) Image processing : Image enhancement
(170.7050) Medical optics and biotechnology : Turbid media
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(310.1860) Thin films : Deposition and fabrication

Original Manuscript: May 31, 2001
Revised Manuscript: September 4, 2001
Published: March 1, 2002

Cindy K. Harnett and Harold. G. Craighead, "Liquid-crystal micropolarizer array for polarization-difference imaging," Appl. Opt. 41, 1291-1296 (2002)

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