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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 29, Iss. 12 — Jun. 15, 2004
  • pp: 1411–1413

Switchable broadband achromatic half-wave plate with nematic liquid crystals

M. D. Lavrentovich, T. A. Sergan, and J. R. Kelly  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 29, Issue 12, pp. 1411-1413 (2004)

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We describe a broadband achromatic half-wave retarder for normally incident light of arbitrary polarization. The device consists of a stack of one nematic liquid-crystal cell with uniform alignment sandwiched between two twisted nematic layers that have identical twist angles (135°) but different orientations of their surface alignment. As a specific application, for light with linear polarization at 45° to the optic axis of the homogeneous cell the stack functions efficiently as an optical switch. The switch rotates the incident linear polarization by 90° in the absence of an electric field. When sufficiently high voltage is applied to all three layers, the device produces a near-zero effect on the incident polarization. An achromatic response in the spectral range 400–700 nm is achieved for both activated and quiescent states.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

M. D. Lavrentovich, T. A. Sergan, and J. R. Kelly, "Switchable broadband achromatic half-wave plate with nematic liquid crystals," Opt. Lett. 29, 1411-1413 (2004)

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