OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 5 — Mar. 8, 2004
  • pp: 868–882

Demonstration of 3-dimensional wide angle laser beam scanner using liquid crystals

Sajjad A. Khan and Nabeel A. Riza  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 5, pp. 868-882 (2004)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (542 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Design and demonstration of a versatile liquid crystal-based scanner is shown for steering a laser beam in three dimensions. The scanner consists of a unique combination of digital and analog control polarization-based beamforming optics resulting in both continuous and random fashion beam steering. The design features a novel device biasing method, large aperture beamforming optics, low electrical power consumption, and ultra-fine as well as wide angle coarse beam steering. Demonstrations include one, two and three dimensional beam steering with a maximum of 40.92° continuous scan, all at 1550 nm. The minimum scanner aperture is 1 cm diameter and uses a combination of ferroelectric and nematic liquid crystals in addition to Rutile crystal birefringent prisms.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(120.5800) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scanners
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: February 4, 2004
Revised Manuscript: February 25, 2004
Published: March 8, 2004

Sajjad Khan and Nabeel Riza, "Demonstration of 3-dimensional wide angle laser beam scanner using liquid crystals," Opt. Express 12, 868-882 (2004)

Sort:  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. F. Fray and D. Jones, "Liquid crystal light deflector," U.S. Patent 4066334, (1978).
  2. B. Lofving and S. Hard, "Beam steering with two ferroelectric liquid-crystal spatial light modulators," Opt. Lett. 23, 19, 1541-1543, (1998). [CrossRef]
  3. M. H. Kiang, O. Solgaard, K. Y. Lau and R. S. Muller, "Electrostatic combdrive-actuated micromirrors for laser-beam scanning and positioning," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems 7, 1, 27-37, (1998). [CrossRef]
  4. R. A. Meyer, "Optical beam steering using a multichannel lithium tantalate crystal," Appl. Opt. 11, 3, 613-616, (1972). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. Q. W. Song, X. M. Wang, R. Bussjager and J. Osman, "Electro-optic beam-steering device based on a lanthanum-modified lead zirconate titanate ceramic wafer," Appl. Opt. 35, 17, 3155-3162, (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. H. Meyer, D. Riekmann, K.P. Schmidt, U. J. Schmidt, M. Rahlff, E. Schroder and W. Thust, "Design and performance of a 20-stage digital light beam deflector," Appl. Opt. 11, 8, 1732-1736, (1972). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. R. McRuer, L. R. McAdams and J. W. Goodman, "Ferroelectric liquid-crystal digital scanner," Opt. Lett., 15, 23, 1415-1417, (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. C. M. Titus, P. J. Bos and O. D. Lavrentovich, "Efficient, accurate liquid crystal digital light deflector," Proc. SPIE, 3633, 244, (1999). [CrossRef]
  9. N. A. Riza and S. A. Khan, "Programmable High Speed Polarization Multiplexed Optical Scanner," Opt. Lett. 28, 7, 561-563, (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. N. A. Riza, "Digital control polarization based optical scanner," US Patent 6031658, (2000).
  11. W. Klaus, "Development of LC optics for free-space laser communications," International Jounal of Electronic Communications 56, 4, 243-253, (2002). [CrossRef]
  12. J. B. Hawthorn, A. Harwit, and M. Harwit, "Laser telemetry from space," Science, 297, July 26, (2002).
  13. B. W. Matkin, "Steered agile beams program support for Army requirements," Proc. SPIE, 4489, 1-12, Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging; David G. Voelz, Jennifer C. Ricklin; Eds, 46th Annual Meeting of SPIE, 29 July - 3 August (2001).
  14. P. Yeh and C. Gu, Optics of Liquid Crystal Displays, (John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, 1999).
  15. FLC Liquid Crystal Light Valves User Manual, Displaytech Inc., Longmont, CO, USA, (1996).
  16. M. Yu. Loktev, V. N. Belopukhov, F. L. Vladimirov, G. V. Vdovin, G. D. Love and A. F. Naumov, "Wave front control systems based on modal liquid crystal lenses," Review of Scientific Instruments 71, Issue 9, 3290-3297, September (2000). [CrossRef]
  17. S. Gauza, H. Wang, C. H. Wen, S. T. Wu, A. Seed, and R. Dabrowski, "High Birefringence Isothiocyanato Tolane Liquid Crystals," Japanese Journal of Applied Physics Part I, 42, 3463-3466, (2003). [CrossRef]
  18. N. A. Riza and M. C. DeJule, "Three-terminal adaptive nematic liquid-crystal lens device," Opt. Lett. 19, Issue 14, 1013-1015, (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: MPG (5063 KB)     
» Media 2: MPG (1405 KB)     
» Media 3: MPG (5063 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited