22 August 2005 Sheared polymer network liquid crystal for fast-response variable optical attenuators
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Proceedings Volume 5936, Liquid Crystals IX; 59360J (2005) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.613203
Event: Optics and Photonics 2005, 2005, San Diego, California, United States
A variable optical attenuator (VOA) at λ=1.55 μm using a sheared polymer network liquid crystal (SPNLC) is demonstrated. SPNLC is fabricated by mixing ~15 wt % photo-polymerizable monomer in a LC host. To polymerize the SPNLC cell, a two-step UV curing process was adopted. Before shearing, the cell scatters light strongly, but after shearing the cell becomes highly transparent in the near IR region. Using an E7-based SPNLC, the attenuation of our VOA is rather insensitive to wavelength over the ITU C-band. The rise time and decay time were measured to be 35 μs and 205 μs, respectively, at room temperature. Such a response time is at least one order magnitude faster than the state-of-the-art nematic competitors. Comparing with other polymer-stabilized liquid crystals, the SPNLC exhibits a lower driving voltage and negligible light scattering loss in the IR spectral region. A reflection type, polarization-independent VOA with ~240 μs response time and -32 dB dynamic range was demonstrated at room temperature and 35 Vrms voltage.
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Yung-Hsun Wu, Yung-Hsun Wu, Yi-Hsin Lin, Yi-Hsin Lin, Yan-Qing Lu, Yan-Qing Lu, Hongwen Ren, Hongwen Ren, Yun-Hsing Fan, Yun-Hsing Fan, Janet R. Wu, Janet R. Wu, Shin-Tson Wu, Shin-Tson Wu, } "Sheared polymer network liquid crystal for fast-response variable optical attenuators", Proc. SPIE 5936, Liquid Crystals IX, 59360J (22 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.613203; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.613203


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