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Optics Letters

Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • Editor: Anthony J. Campillo
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 15 — Aug. 1, 2006
  • pp: 2248–2250

Polarization-controlled switching between diffraction orders in transverse-periodically aligned nematic liquid crystals

Hakob Sarkissian, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Leon B. Glebov, Vasile Rotar, and Boris Ya. Zeldovich  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 31, Issue 15, pp. 2248-2250 (2006)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.31.002248


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Abstract

Transverse-periodic-oriented nematic liquid crystals (LCs) are a special type of optical axis grating that are capable of very high efficiency diffraction (theoretically, 100%) in thin layers of materials with thickness comparable to the radiation wavelength. In particular, they fully diffract linearly polarized input beam into circularly polarized + 1 st and 1 st diffraction orders. We experimentally demonstrate switching between diffraction orders of such gratings when the polarization of the incident beam changes from right-circular to left-circular and vice versa with the aid of an electrically controlled LC phase retarder. Such a setup in which the diffraction efficiency and direction are controlled externally, without application of an electric field to the transverse-periodic grating, provides additional control opportunities and does not compromise the quality of the grating. The grating used in the experiment was 1.5 μ m thick and had a period of 4 μ m . The contrast ratio of switching between the + 1 st and 1 st orders was as high as 267:1 for a He Ne laser beam with a switching time of 6.6 ms .

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

History
Original Manuscript: March 16, 2006
Revised Manuscript: May 18, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: May 19, 2006
Published: July 10, 2006

Citation
Hakob Sarkissian, Svetlana V. Serak, Nelson V. Tabiryan, Leon B. Glebov, Vasile Rotar, and Boris Ya. Zeldovich, "Polarization-controlled switching between diffraction orders in transverse-periodically aligned nematic liquid crystals," Opt. Lett. 31, 2248-2250 (2006)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-31-15-2248

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