ApplicationNo. 06/468526 filed on 02/22/1983
US Classes:349/196, Beam dividing switch formed from liquid crystal cell385/16Switch (i.e., switching from one terminal to another, not modulation)
ExaminersPrimary: Corbin, John K.
Assistant: Gallivan, Richard F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassesG02F 1/31 (20060101)
G02F 1/315 (20060101)
G02F 1/29 (20060101)
AbstractAn optical 1×N switch uses a polarizing beam splitter cube and a reflector to separate an arbitrarily polarized incident light beam into polarized components which propagate along parallel paths. A polarization rotator is positioned in the path of the reflected component to rotate the plane of polarization of the light beam component propagating therealong to be coplanar with that of the undeviated light beam in the parallel path. The two beams are simultaneously or individually deflected by selectively activating the electrodes of a liquid crystal nematic reflector/transmitter array confined between prismatic bodies to emerge at one or more of a plurality of desired outputs. In a second embodiment, a second polarization rotator and polarizing beam combiner assembly re-establishes the initial polarization and the beams are thereby combined to emerge from one or more selected output terminals as an arbitrarily polarized light beam. The switch exhibits extremely low crosstalk and insertion loss by utilizing the energy of both parallel and normal incidence polarization components and avoiding propagation of undesired stray polarization components as occurs with a liquid crystal polarizer.