A complete methodology using matrix representations for describing light transmission and reflection at an interface between an isotropic medium with high refractive index and a uniaxial birefringent material where total internal reflection (TIR) could happen is described systematically. A new TIR-based liquid-crystal (LC) switch system is proposed and investigated in detail by using this analyzing method. The criteria of selection of critical parameters such as LC mixture, waveguide, and operation mode of the LC layer, etc., are discussed. Dependence of transmission on incident angle and dynamic characteristics under an electric field are given for different cell gaps. The results give detailed and useful guidance in the fabrication of the LC switch system.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 10, 2007
Revised Manuscript: January 13, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: February 4, 2008
Published: March 14, 2008
Peizhi Xu, Vladimir Chigrinov, and Hoi Sing Kwok, "Optical analysis of a liquid-crystal switch system based on total internal reflection," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 866-873 (2008)