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Electrically controllable liquid-crystal (LC) microlens arrays have been fabricated using the process of anisotropic phase separation of the LC from its solution in a ultraviolet curable prepolymer. The focal length of nematic LC-based microlens arrays can be changed in milliseconds with an applied electric field. The ferroelectric LC microlens array exhibits the memory effect and modulates the transmitted light within a few microseconds, i.e., ∼1000 times faster than the nematic LC-based microlens. Having no internal substructures to scatter light, these devices offer high efficiency and high light throughput that is different from polymer-dispersed devices.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005