A nematic liquid crystal spatial light modulator used as a phase-modulating device and operating in the reflective mode is analyzed using three-dimensional modeling. Two configurations, which differ in their electrode placement relative to a fixed quarter-wave plate, are considered across a range of steering directions, with the grating conformal and in some cases oblique to the pixel grid. For each steering direction the sensitivity of the diffraction orders to the polarization state of the incident wavefront is studied. Optimal alignment of the liquid crystal is suggested to reduce this sensitivity.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 27, 2006
Revised Manuscript: February 16, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: February 18, 2007
Published: July 11, 2007
Richard James, F. Aníbal Fernández, Sally E. Day, Miloš Komarčević, and William A. Crossland, "Modeling of the diffraction efficiency and polarization sensitivity for a liquid crystal 2D spatial light modulator for reconfigurable beam steering," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 2464-2473 (2007)