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Optical interconnects using ferroelectric liquid crystals

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Ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) are high-performance electrooptic materials offering large optical interaction and fast (microsecond) bistable switching at a low drive voltage (±10 V) and low-power dissipation. These properties are currently being exploited in light valves for shutters and flat panel displays. We now show new device geometries that utilize FLCs to make a variety of optical crossbar switches for both guided and unguided lightwaves. In contrast to the more conventional light valve devices, the elements of these crossbars do not rely on absorption in a polarization analyzer and are capable of routing light from an input to a chosen output with little loss.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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