Abstract

A quaternary liquid crystal (LC) grating simultaneously performs dynamic control of diffraction angle, polarization, and wavelength-separation properties as shown in the following: (1) Diffraction orders in which light waves are diffracted can be selected by applying a voltage, (2) the efficiency of each diffraction order can be controlled depending on a wavelength of an incident beam, and (3) a pair of counter-rotated circular polarizations or linear polarizations with an orthogonal relationship are diffracted simultaneously, and this property can be controlled by applying a voltage. These diffraction properties and LC alignment structures are proposed based on theoretical analyses using Jones calculus, and their properties are now demonstrated experimentally. The quaternary LC grating can be used as an advanced optical element for industrial applications such as tunable polarization beam splitters and dynamic switching of propagation directions of light depending on wavelength.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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