High efficiency reflective liquid crystal polarization gratings

Komanduri, R. K.; Escuti, M. J.
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/31/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 9, p091106
Academic Journal
We experimentally demonstrate a reflective-mode liquid crystal polarization grating with high reflectance, small grating period, and subms switching times. This switchable optical element can diffract ∼100% into a single order, have highly polarization-sensitive first orders, and have a polarization-insensitive zero order. Here we introduce an absorbing layer that overcomes the reflection of the (ultraviolet) holographic beams, which otherwise prevents high quality fabrication. At a grating period of 2.1 μm, we report 98% diffraction efficiency, 90% reflectance, ∼600:1 contrast-ratio, and ∼3000:1 polarization contrast. These elements can therefore be configured as polarization-independent modulators or switchable polarizing beam splitters, for use in telecommunications, displays, spatial-light modulators, and polarimetry.


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