In this Letter we demonstrate a polarization controller capable of changing any state of polarization of light from one arbitrary state to another. The controller consists of a stack of three homogeneous nematic liquid-crystal cells. The polarization state is controlled by proper adjustment of the voltages applied across each of the cells. The mathematical algorithm and principles of this polarization controller are developed in the framework of the Stokes parameters, allowing easy visualization by use of a Poincaré sphere representation. The transformation functions are given for conversion of an arbitrary input state to any output state. Experiments are carried out to demonstrate arbitrary polarization transformation.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
Zhizhong Zhuang, Seong-Woo Suh, and J. S. Patel, "Polarization controller using nematic liquid crystals," Opt. Lett. 24, 694-696 (1999)