Analog FLC-VLSI Spatial Light Modulators for Scintillation Control in Imaging and Laser Propagation

Period of Performance: 08/24/1998 - 11/25/2000

$747K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Displaytech, Inc.
2200 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Important emerging technologies such as adaptive optics, optical image processing, and miniature displays, require spatial light modulators (SLMs) which can control the amplitude or phase of optical wave fronts. In many cases suitable SLMs are not yet available. New SLM technologies and manufacuturing processes must be developed in order to realize the economic and performance benefits offered by these technologies. Displaytech's binary ferroelectric liquid crystal SLMs (FLC-on-VLSI and OASLMs) are already being used experimentally for some of these applications. However, important applications of adaptive optics will not become practical without the development of new SLMs capable of fast, analog, electro-optic amplitude modulation, and of SLMs with a wider range of fast phase modulation (e.g. polarization-independent 180 phase shifts).Displaytech's recent advances in materials and devices for analog FLCs have made it feasible to begin development of SLMs needed for the Air Force's adaptive optics applications. We propose to develop and deliver SLMs that will meet the needs of two or more of those applications. The proposed SLM will also allow the construction of more advanced optical image processing systems, and will be particularly valuable for the advantages it brings to our display markets.