Special Issue "Liquid Crystal on Silicon Devices: Modeling and Advanced Spatial Light Modulation Applications"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Optics and Lasers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrés Márquez

(1) Department of Physics, Systems Engineering and Theory of Signal, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, Alicante 03080, Spain;
(2) University Institute of Physics Applied to Sciences and Technologies, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, Alicante 03080, Spain
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: optical and digital holography, mainly on holographic recording materials and holographic data storage, liquid crystal spatial light modulators, optical image processing and diffractive optics
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ángel Lizana

Department of Physics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: liquid crystal displays and their application to diffractive optics; as well as the design and implementation of polarimeters, and their application to biophotonics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) has become one of the most widespread technologies for spatial light modulation in optics and photonics applications. These reflective microdisplays are composed of a high-performance silicon complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) backplane, which controls the light modulating properties of the liquid crystal layer. State-of-the-art LCoS microdisplays may exhibit a very small pixel pitch (below 4 μm), a very large number of pixels (resolutions larger than 4K) and high fill factors (larger than 90%). They modulate illumination sources covering the UV, visible and far IR. LCoS are used not only as displays but also as polarization, amplitude and phase-only spatial light modulators, where they achieve full phase modulation. Due to their excellent modulating properties and high degree of flexibility they are found in all sorts of spatial light modulation applications, such as in LCOS based display systems for augmented and virtual reality, head-up display, head-mounted display, projector, true holographic displays, digital holography, optical storage, adaptive optics, diffractive optical elements, superresolution optical systems, optical metrology techniques, reconfigurable interconnects, beam-steering devices, wavelength selective switches in optical telecommunications, wavefront sensing of structured light beams, holographic optical traps, or quantum optical computing. In order to fulfil the requirements in this extensive range of applications, specific models and characterizations techniques are proposed These devices may exhibit a number of degradation effects such as limited modulation range for high spatial frequency image content, interpixel cross-talk and fringing field, and time flicker, which may also depend on the analog or digital backplane of the corresponding LCoS device. Appropriate characterization and compensation techniques are then necessary.

We invite you to submit a paper for this special issue showing the impact of LCoS microdisplays in present and future spatial light modulation applications. State-of-the-art in LCoS device technology, modeling and characterization techniques are also welcome. We hope that you find the content of this call relevant for your research and will consider publication of your work within this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Andrés Márquez
Prof. Dr. Ángel Lizana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • liquid crystal on silicon
  • spatial light modulator
  • display
  • electro-optic effect
  • holography
  • optical interconnections
  • beam-steering devices
  • programmable diffractive optics
  • phase-modulation
  • holographic tweezers

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Transmission Matrix Measurement of Multimode Optical Fibers by Mode-Selective Excitation Using One Spatial Light Modulator
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010195
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Multimode fibers (MMF) are promising candidates to increase the data rate while reducing the space required for optical fiber networks. However, their use is hampered by mode mixing and other effects, leading to speckled output patterns. This can be overcome by measuring the [...] Read more.
Multimode fibers (MMF) are promising candidates to increase the data rate while reducing the space required for optical fiber networks. However, their use is hampered by mode mixing and other effects, leading to speckled output patterns. This can be overcome by measuring the transmission matrix (TM) of a multimode fiber. In this contribution, a mode-selective excitation of complex amplitudes is performed with only one phase-only spatial light modulator. The light field propagating through the fiber is measured holographically and is analyzed by a rapid decomposition method. This technique requires a small amount of measurements N, which corresponds to the degree of freedom of the fiber. The TM determines the amplitude and phase relationships of the modes, which allows us to understand the mode scrambling processes in the MMF and can be used for mode division multiplexing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phase-Only Optically Addressable Spatial-Light Modulator and On-Line Phase-Modulation Detection System
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 1812; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101812
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
The influence of driving conditions on the phase-modulation ability of an optically addressable spatial-light modulator (OASLM) is investigated using an equivalent circuit method and a system for measuring wave-front modulation that uses a phase-unwrapping data-processing method, and is constructed with a charge-coupled device [...] Read more.
The influence of driving conditions on the phase-modulation ability of an optically addressable spatial-light modulator (OASLM) is investigated using an equivalent circuit method and a system for measuring wave-front modulation that uses a phase-unwrapping data-processing method, and is constructed with a charge-coupled device and wave-front sensor. 1λ peak-to-valley phase change for a 1053 nm laser beam is acquired with the home-made OASLM at the optimal driving voltage of 14 V at 200 Hz. The detection system for wave-front modulation has a spatial resolution of 200 µm for binary images and a minimum distinguishable contrast of 1 mm. On-line phase modulation with feedback control can be acquired with the OASLM and the corresponding measuring system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Programmable Zoom Lens System with Two Spatial Light Modulators: Limits Imposed by the Spatial Resolution
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8061006
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
In this work we present an experimental proof of concept of a programmable optical zoom lens system with no moving parts that can form images with both positive and negative magnifications. Our system uses two programmable liquid crystal spatial light modulators to form [...] Read more.
In this work we present an experimental proof of concept of a programmable optical zoom lens system with no moving parts that can form images with both positive and negative magnifications. Our system uses two programmable liquid crystal spatial light modulators to form the lenses composing the zoom system. The results included show that images can be formed with both positive and negative magnifications. Experimental results match the theory. We discuss the size limitations of this system caused by the limited spatial resolution and discuss how newer devices would shrink the size of the system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anamorphic and Local Characterization of a Holographic Data Storage System with a Liquid-Crystal on Silicon Microdisplay as Data Pager
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8060986
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we present a method to characterize a complete optical Holographic Data Storage System (HDSS), where we identify the elements that limit the capacity to register and restore the information introduced by means of a Liquid Cristal on Silicon (LCoS) microdisplay [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a method to characterize a complete optical Holographic Data Storage System (HDSS), where we identify the elements that limit the capacity to register and restore the information introduced by means of a Liquid Cristal on Silicon (LCoS) microdisplay as the data pager. In the literature, it has been shown that LCoS exhibits an anamorphic and frequency dependent effect when periodic optical elements are addressed to LCoS microdisplays in diffractive optics applications. We tested whether this effect is still relevant in the application to HDSS, where non-periodic binary elements are applied, as it is the case in binary data pages codified by Binary Intensity Modulation (BIM). To test the limits in storage data density and in spatial bandwidth of the HDSS, we used anamorphic patterns with different resolutions. We analyzed the performance of the microdisplay in situ using figures of merit adapted to HDSS. A local characterization across the aperture of the system was also demonstrated with our proposed methodology, which results in an estimation of the illumination uniformity and the contrast generated by the LCoS. We show the extent of the increase in the Bit Error Rate (BER) when introducing a photopolymer as the recording material, thus all the important elements in a HDSS are considered in the characterization methodology demonstrated in this paper. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Helix-Free Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals: Electro Optics and Possible Applications
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2429; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122429
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 25 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
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Abstract
This is a review of results from studying ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) of a new type developed for fast low-voltage displays and light modulators. These materials are helix-free FLCs, which are characterized by spatially periodic deformation of smectic layers and a small value [...] Read more.
This is a review of results from studying ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) of a new type developed for fast low-voltage displays and light modulators. These materials are helix-free FLCs, which are characterized by spatially periodic deformation of smectic layers and a small value of spontaneous polarization (less than 50 nC/cm2). The FLC director is reoriented due to the motion of solitons at the transition to the Maxwellian mechanism of energy dissipation. A theoretical model is proposed for describing the FLC deformation and director reorientation. The frequency and field dependences of the optical response time are studied experimentally for modulation of light transmission, scattering, and phase delay with a high rate. The hysteresis-free nature and smooth dependence of the optical response on the external electric field in the frequency range up to 6 kHz is demonstrated, as well as bistable light scattering with memorization of an optical state for a time exceeding the switching time by up to 6 orders of magnitude. Due to the spatially inhomogeneous light phase delay, the ability of a laser beam to cause interference is effectively suppressed. The fastest FLCs under study are compatible with 3D, FLC on Silicon (FLCoS), and Field Sequential Colors (FSC) technologies. Full article
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Open AccessReview Liquid-Crystal-on-Silicon for Augmented Reality Displays
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122366
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we review liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) technology and focus on its new application in emerging augmented reality (AR) displays. In the first part, the LCoS working principles of three commonly adopted LC modes—vertical alignment and twist nematic for amplitude modulation, and homogeneous [...] Read more.
In this paper, we review liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) technology and focus on its new application in emerging augmented reality (AR) displays. In the first part, the LCoS working principles of three commonly adopted LC modes—vertical alignment and twist nematic for amplitude modulation, and homogeneous alignment for phase modulation—are introduced and their pros and cons evaluated. In the second part, the fringing field effect is analyzed, and a novel pretilt angle patterning method for suppressing the effect is presented. Moreover, we illustrate how to integrate the LCoS panel in an AR display system. Both currently available intensity modulators and under-developing holographic displays are covered, with special emphases on achieving high image quality, such as a fast response time and high-resolution. The rapidly increasing application of LCoS in AR head-mounted displays and head-up displays is foreseeable. Full article
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Open AccessReview Pursuing High Quality Phase-Only Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) Devices
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2323; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112323
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
Fine pixel size and high-resolution liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) backplanes have been developed by various companies and research groups since 1973. The development of LCoS is not only beneficial for full high definition displays but also to spatial light modulation. The high-quality [...] Read more.
Fine pixel size and high-resolution liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) backplanes have been developed by various companies and research groups since 1973. The development of LCoS is not only beneficial for full high definition displays but also to spatial light modulation. The high-quality and well-calibrated panels can project computer generated hologram (CGH) designs faithfully for phase-only holography, which can be widely utilized in 2D/3D holographic video projectors and components for optical telecommunications. As a result, we start by summarizing the current status of high-resolution panels, followed by addressing issues related to the driving frequency (i.e., liquid crystal response time and hardware interface). LCoS panel qualities were evaluated based on the following four characteristics: phase linearity control, phase precision, phase stability, and phase accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Microparticle Manipulation and Imaging through a Self-Calibrated Liquid Crystal on Silicon Display
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112310
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
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Abstract
We present in this paper a revision of three different methods we conceived in the framework of liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) display optimization and application. We preliminarily demonstrate an LCoS self-calibration technique, from which we can perform a complete LCoS characterization. In [...] Read more.
We present in this paper a revision of three different methods we conceived in the framework of liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) display optimization and application. We preliminarily demonstrate an LCoS self-calibration technique, from which we can perform a complete LCoS characterization. In particular, two important characteristics of LCoS displays are retrieved by using self-addressed digital holograms. On the one hand, we determine its phase-voltage curve by using the interference pattern generated by a digital two-sectorial split-lens configuration. On the other hand, the LCoS surface profile is also determined by using a self-addressed dynamic micro-lens array pattern. Second, the implementation of microparticle manipulation through optical traps created by an LCoS display is demonstrated. Finally, an LCoS display based inline (IL) holographic imaging system is described. By using the LCoS display to implement a double-sideband filter configuration, this inline architecture demonstrates the advantage of obtaining dynamic holographic imaging of microparticles independently of their spatial positions by avoiding the non-desired conjugate images. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Displays Based on Dynamic Phase-Only Holography
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8050685
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Static holographic displays of high quality are works of art. We are creating commercial displays using dynamic phase-only spatial light modulators (SLMs). The main advantages of this approach are light efficiency and fault tolerance. When polarized lasers are used as the illumination source, [...] Read more.
Static holographic displays of high quality are works of art. We are creating commercial displays using dynamic phase-only spatial light modulators (SLMs). The main advantages of this approach are light efficiency and fault tolerance. When polarized lasers are used as the illumination source, there is no requirement for polarizers in the light engine. Moreover, the illumination beam can be directed towards bright points of the image and away from dark regions. Due to the many-to-one correspondence between the pixels in the SLM and the points in the image, faults in high complexity SLMs will be annealed in the image. Compared with normal displays where etendue is of overriding importance for light efficiency, holographic displays favor small pixel devices. Smaller pixel devices generate a larger reconstruction which improves the etendue for a second stage imaging system. Full article
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