Low aberration and fast switching microlenses based on a novel liquid crystal mixture

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Optical Society of America (OSA)
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In this work, we present a novel kind of LC mixture (5005) for photonic applications, with emphasis on a LC microlens array. This mixture is a nematic composition of three different families of rod like liquid crystals. The key is that frequency dependence of parallel component of electric permittivity is different for each component, resulting in a strongly dependent on frequency dielectric anisotropy. The unique properties of this LC mixture are demonstrated to work in a frequency modulated LC microlens array. A hole patterned structure is used. Thanks to the special characteristics of this mixture, the microlenses are reconfigurable by low voltage signals with variable frequency. This is a first demonstration of a LC lens with tunable focal length by frequency in an analog way. The result of this type of control are microlenses with low aberrations and fast switching (the frequency switching is around 10 times faster than amplitude modulation). The tunability with frequency and the fast switching, makes this liquid crystal of special interest not only for microlenses but for all kind of optical phase modulators.
Submillisecond response-time, High-birefringence, Projection system, Optical zoom, Lens, Array, Field, Cells
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Algorri, J. F., Bennis, N., Herman, J., Kula, P., Urruchi, V. & Sánchez-Pena, J. M. (2017). Low aberration and fast switching microlenses based on a novel liquid crystal mixture. Optics Express, 25(13), 14795.