Effects of Low Polymer Content in a Liquid-Crystal Microlens

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Optics Letters

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A small number of bifunctional monomers are mixed with a nematic liquid crystal (LC) and cured with a distributed electric field, which is produced by a circular-hole-patterned electrode structure. A gradient type of lens, that is, a LC microlens, is investigated for various polymer concentrations. Addition of 3% polymer is enough to freeze the gradient-index properties of the structure in the form of a convex lens, and a polymer-stabilized LC microlens is demonstrated. Although a lower concentration of polymer cannot hold the distribution properties in a curing process, it can maintain the variable focus as a nematic material can. The polymer networks can also eliminate the disclination line that usually appears and causes the lens in this type of LC device to deteriorate. (C) 1997 Optical Society of America.


This paper was published in Optics Letters and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.22.000351. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.