This electrically alterable magneto-optic device can be used as a two-dimensional spatial light modulator in an optical image processor or a display system. A thin magnetic garnet film is epitaxially deposited on a transparent nonmagnetic garnet substrate, in the manner of magnetic bubble memory films. Semiconductor photolithographic techniques are used to etch the film into a two-dimensional array of mesas and to deposit X-Y drive lines for matrix-addressed current switching of the mesa magnetization. Electromagnetic switching provides higher speed switching than a previously reported thermal switching method. The axis of polarization of polarized light transmitted through the film is rotated by the Faraday effect in opposite directions where opposite magnetic states have been written, and a polarization analyzer converts this effect into image brightness modulation. The resulting high speed random access light modulator is applicable to all three planes of the classic coherent three-plane correlator. Although the basic effect is binary, there are at least four possible configurations which achieve gray scale rendition.
William E. Ross,
Robert H. Anderson,
"Two-Dimensional Magneto-Optic Spatial Light Modulator For Signal Processing," Optical Engineering 22(4), 224485 (1 August 1983). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7973148