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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 34, Iss. 6 — Mar. 15, 2009
  • pp: 803–805

Variable phase retarder made of a dielectric elastomer actuator

Markus Beck, Reto Fiolka, and Andreas Stemmer  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 6, pp. 803-805 (2009)

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We present a polymeric optical phase retarder that is electrically tunable by a dielectric elastomer actuator. The soft material device affords a large tuning range ( 14 π at λ = 488 nm ) combined with high accuracy in optical path length and low drift rate ( 8.3 nm min ) . Furthermore, the phase retarder is not sensitive to polarization, introduces a wavefront distortion < λ 30 , and tolerates high power densities ( > 141 kW cm 2 ) . We show the dynamics for periodic phase modulation and demonstrate a simple drive technique for fast phase stepping. The polymer-based device is inexpensive, easy to fabricate, and its design can be adapted to specific applications.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5060) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase modulation
(160.5470) Materials : Polymers
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: December 22, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: January 23, 2009
Published: March 11, 2009

Markus Beck, Reto Fiolka, and Andreas Stemmer, "Variable phase retarder made of a dielectric elastomer actuator," Opt. Lett. 34, 803-805 (2009)

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