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Appl Opt. 2010 Jul 10;49(20):3900-4. doi: 10.1364/AO.49.003900.

Polarization-independent tunable optical filters using bilayer polarization gratings.

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1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2410 Campus Shore Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.

Abstract

We demonstrate a polarization-independent tunable optical filter based on switchable polarization gratings (PGs) formed using reactive and nonreactive liquid crystals (LCs). PGs are anisotropic diffraction gratings that exhibit unique properties, including a zero-order transmittance that is independent of incident polarization and that can vary from approximately 0% to approximately 100%, depending on wavelength and applied voltage. A stack of several PGs of varying thicknesses combined with an elemental angle filter yields polarization-independent bandpass tuning with minimal loss. We introduce a novel hybrid PG consisting of both reactive and nonreactive LC layers, which allows very thick gratings to be created with thin active LC layers. We demonstrate a tunable optical filter with a peak transmittance of 84% of unpolarized light, a minimum full width at half-maximum of 64 nm, and a maximum tuning range of 140 nm.

PMID:
20648163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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