Liquid Crystal (LC)
Liquid crystals (LC), which have the largest known electro-optical coefficient of any material, are widely used in the PC display industry. After several decades of research and development, LC is a mature technology and its reliability is well established.
LC is defined as a state of matter that is intermediate between the crystalline solid and the amorphous liquid forms, and exhibits crystalline-like electric and optical anisotropic properties that are much easier to manipulate than those of solids. Driven by a square wave with a voltage in the 0- 5 V DC range, LC acts as a variable waveplate and can change the phase retardation to the incoming optical signal.
The attractiveness of LC lies in the fact that components using it have no-moving-parts, a low driving voltage and low power consumption and can easily be configured to form arrays. Covering a wide operating wavelength range of 0.4 ~ 5 mm, LC can be used in a wide variety of applications. For the fiber optic industry, LC devices are designed as variable optical attenuators (VOA), dynamic gain equalizers (DGE), re-configurable optical Add/Drop multiplexers, wavelength blockers and optical switches.
The highly experienced Lightwaves2020 LC team fabricates the world’s smallest liquid crystal cells currently possible to enable the manufacture of the most compact and reliable LC devices in the industry.