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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 3 — Jan. 31, 2011
  • pp: 1985–1990

Novel optical switch with a reconfigurable dielectric liquid droplet

Hongwen Ren, Su Xu, Daqiu Ren, and Shin-Tson Wu  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 1985-1990 (2011)

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We demonstrated a novel optical switch with a reconfigurable dielectric liquid droplet. The device consists of a clear liquid droplet (glycerol) surrounded by a black liquid (dye-doped liquid crystal). In the voltage-off state, the incident light passing through the clear liquid droplet is absorbed by the black liquid, resulting in a dark state. In the voltage-on state, the dome of the clear liquid droplet is uplifted by the dielectric force to form a light pipe which in turn transmits the incident light. Upon removing the voltage, the droplet recovers to its original shape and the switch is closed. We also demonstrated a red color light switch with ~10:1 contrast ratio and ~300 ms response time. Devices based on such an operation mechanism will find attractive applications in light shutter, tunable iris, variable optical attenuators, and displays

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices

ToC Category:
Adaptive Optics

Original Manuscript: October 14, 2010
Revised Manuscript: January 10, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: January 14, 2011
Published: January 19, 2011

Hongwen Ren, Su Xu, Daqiu Ren, and Shin-Tson Wu, "Novel optical switch with a reconfigurable dielectric liquid droplet," Opt. Express 19, 1985-1990 (2011)

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