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Appl Opt. 1994 May 10;33(14):2775-84. doi: 10.1364/AO.33.002775.

256 × 256 liquid-crystal-on-silicon spatial light modulator.


A 256 × 256 pixel spatial light modulator (SLM) is designed and constructed by the use of liquid-crystalon-silicon technology. The device is a binary electrically addressed SLM with a measured zero-order contrast ratio of 70:1 and an imaged contrast ratio of 10:1. The pixel pitch is 21.6 µm, which gives an array size of 5.53 mm. The electronic load time is 43 µs, and the 10%-90% switching time of the liquid crystal is ~75-80 µs at room temperature, which implies a maximum frame rate of ~8.3 kHz. We discuss the design trade-offs that are intrinsic to this type of device and describe how the primary application for the device in an optical correlator influenced the final design.

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