A Passive Polarization Rotator Array for Flexible Optical Displays

Period of Performance: 05/13/1998 - 02/15/2000

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gemfire Corporation
2471 E. Bayshore Road, Suite 600
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Low-cost laser diodes are enabling components of a number of inexpensive commercial products. Unfortunately, most diode lasers output TE-polarized light whereas many applications require TM-polarized light. Therefore, an efficient, compact, and integrated polarization rotator is necessary to permit coupling of TE-polarized laser diode array into a wave guide array and convert TM-polarized light to TE-polarized light. In Phase I, we established the feasibility and proof-of-principles underlying passive polymer polarization rotators by demonstrating extraordinarily high polarization conversion efficiency (97%) in a very compact device length (240 um). The goal of this Phase II then is to prove mass-production capability and practicality in a product setting by demonstrating an array of efficient polymer TE-TM converters that are actively coupled from a 64-emitter laser array. Demonstrating high polarization conversion efficiency while maintaining large and uniform coupling across the array is the objective of Phase II. If successful, this Phase II will clear the roadblocks for product development in Phase III.