Optical Design and Engineering

Optimization of direct-write polarization gratings

[+] Author Affiliations
Matthew N. Miskiewicz

North Carolina State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, P.O. Box 7911, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7911, United States

Michael J. Escuti

North Carolina State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, P.O. Box 7911, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7911, United States

Opt. Eng. 54(2), 025101 (Feb 03, 2015). doi:10.1117/1.OE.54.2.025101
History: Received August 8, 2014; Accepted December 3, 2014
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Abstract.  We recently reported on a mathematical formalism for analyzing the result of a direct-write scanning system applied to photoaligned liquid crystal films. We use that formalism to study the direct-write recording of polarization gratings (PGs). First, we evaluate three scan paths in simulation and experiment, describe their tradeoffs and practical constraints, and identify the most favorable. Second, we explore the parameter space of direct-write PGs in simulation, which includes four dimensions in general: grating period, line spacing, beam size, and spatially averaged fluence. Using this analysis, we predict that a certain portion of the parameter space should be optimal, leading to high diffraction efficiency and well-aligned PGs. Finally, we experimentally fabricate and characterize nine PGs with scan parameters within and around this optimal parameter space and conclude that the prediction is validated. This work is the first in-depth study of direct-write PGs; it identifies many challenges and solutions, and shows, for the first time, direct-write recorded PGs with quality equivalent to those recorded via holography. In particular, we demonstrate a PG (20μm period) with first-order diffraction efficiency 99.5%, 0.2% haze, and polarization contrast of 2000.

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© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Matthew N. Miskiewicz and Michael J. Escuti
"Optimization of direct-write polarization gratings", Opt. Eng. 54(2), 025101 (Feb 03, 2015). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.54.2.025101


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