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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 24 — Aug. 20, 2008
  • pp: 4375–4380

Wavelength-dependent diffraction patterns from a liquid crystal display

Jeffrey A. Davis, Joseph B. Chambers, Brian A. Slovick, and Ignacio Moreno  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 24, pp. 4375-4380 (2008)

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Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are invaluable for a variety of optical applications, including the encoding of programmable diffractive optical elements. The pixel structure in these devices produces a set of diffracted orders of which the central order is the strongest. In most devices that we have examined, the intensity distribution of the diffraction pattern is independent of the wavelength of the illuminating light. Recently we have been examining the performance of LCDs having very small pixel sizes. We compare results for two devices from the same manufacturer. One of them exhibits the normal behavior. For the other, we find surprisingly strong wavelength dependence. The diffraction pattern varies from having most of the energy in the zero order for long wavelengths to having the energy distributed among 50 60 orders as the wavelength decreases. We attribute this behavior to a phase structure over each pixel. We analyze this behavior using a simple two-dimensional model that qualitatively explains the phenomenon. These results can be viewed in two ways—on the positive side this behavior might lead to optical logic or fan-out applications. On the negative side, there is less intensity available in the normally used zero order.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.0050) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction and gratings
(090.1970) Holography : Diffractive optics
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(230.6120) Optical devices : Spatial light modulators

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: June 11, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: July 15, 2008
Published: August 18, 2008

Jeffrey A. Davis, Joseph B. Chambers, Brian A. Slovick, and Ignacio Moreno, "Wavelength-dependent diffraction patterns from a liquid crystal display," Appl. Opt. 47, 4375-4380 (2008)

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