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A finite-element beam propagation method is applied to the optical analysis of small pixel liquid crystal (LC) (micro)displays. It is shown that the near-field profile is affected in these devices by diffraction, even for the ideal case of homogeneous pixels. The influence of the pixel size on the diffraction profile is shown and a fundamental contrast limit is demonstrated. The importance of LC materials with high birefringence is confirmed for small pixel LC devices as these improve the contrast for a fixed pixel size. Simulation of the pixel walk-off phenomenon in gray pixels due to anisotropy in the longitudinal direction illustrates the importance of including the full dielectric tensor in optical modeling of small pixel devices.
Date of Publication: March 2011