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Millisecond optical phase modulation using multipass configurations with liquid-crystal devices

Jin, Yihan; Elston, Steve J.; Fells, Julian A.J.; Booth, Martin J.; Welch, Chris; Mehl, Georg H.; Morris, Stephen M.


Yihan Jin

Steve J. Elston

Julian A.J. Fells

Martin J. Booth

Chris Welch

Stephen M. Morris


We present two configurations for analog 0 to 2π optical phase modulation using liquid crystals (LCs), each of which achieve switching times that are 1 ms or less. One configuration is based on the switching behavior of a so-called nematic pi cell, and the other is based on the flexoelectro-optic effect in chiral nematic LCs when operated in the uniform lying helix geometry. Both configurations exploit a multipass optical arrangement to enhance the available optical phase range, while maintaining a fast switching speed. Moreover, these devices can be operated at or close to room temperature. Experimental data are found to be in good agreement with results predicted from theory for these multipass phase-modulation configurations.


Jin, Y., Elston, S. J., Fells, J. A., Booth, M. J., Welch, C., Mehl, G. H., & Morris, S. M. (2020). Millisecond optical phase modulation using multipass configurations with liquid-crystal devices. Physical Review Applied, 14(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 25, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2020
Publication Date 2020-08
Deposit Date Aug 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 3, 2020
Journal Physical Review Applied
Print ISSN 2331-7019
Electronic ISSN 2331-7019
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 2
Article Number 024007
Keywords Interference & diffraction of light; Optical interferometry; Optoelectronics; Photonics; Stimuli-responsive materials; Cholesteric liquid crystals, Nematic liquid crystals, Polarized optical microscopy
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