1 June 1999 Efficient accurate liquid crystal digital light deflector
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Abstract
The Digital Light Deflector (DLD) can be used to deflect a laser beam without using moving parts. The DLD consists of cascaded pairs of deflecting and switching elements. In each stage, a birefringent element deflects the incident beam by two possible angles. The accompanying electro-optic switch selects the incident linear polarization state, thus deciding the output deflection for that stage. By cascading together N stages with successively increasing deflection angles, 2-to-the-power-N output angles are possible. Many earlier DLD devices utilized inorganic electro-optic materials and required high power. The only prior low-power DLD, using nematic liquid crystal deflectors, suffered from significant scattering losses and was not optimized for wide-angle steering. We present an improved liquid crystal DLD (LC-DLD). This LC-DLD makes use of smectic A liquid crystalline deflecting prisms, resulting in a substantial reduction of scattering losses. This device can also be designed to reduce steering error at wide angles. Steering error reduction is accomplished by optimizing the geometry and orientation of each deflector. Fabrication methods, guidelines for choice of viable smectic materials, and design optimization techniques are discussed.
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Charles M. Titus, Philip J. Bos, Oleg D. Lavrentovich, "Efficient accurate liquid crystal digital light deflector", Proc. SPIE 3633, Diffractive and Holographic Technologies, Systems, and Spatial Light Modulators VI, (1 June 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349334; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.349334
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