We propose a transparent plate of a liquid-crystal grating to be used as a light guide for optical interconnection. To this end, we are empowering the connection itself with active functions, such as switching, wavelength division, power adjustment, etc. In experiments, we built a grating based on in-plane switching. It contains vertically-aligned nematic liquid-crystal molecules between a glass plate with a high refractive index (light guide) and another glass plate with a pair of interdigitated electrodes. Entering a TM wave from an edge of the light guide, we have demonstrated that the activation of diffraction and intensity adjustment for the guided light are both possible. Because a TE wave is barely diffracted, the device also exhibits polarization division capability.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(230.1950) Optical devices : Diffraction gratings
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
Ichiro Fujieda, Osamu Mikami, and Atsushi Ozawa, "Active Optical Interconnect Based on Liquid-Crystal Grating," Appl. Opt. 42, 1520-1525 (2003)