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Efficient polarization converter for projection displays

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Abstract

In the waveguiding limit, a twisted nematic liquid crystal cell behaves as an achromatic polarization rotator. We propose and demonstrate the application of such a polarization rotator to convert unpolarized light into linearly polarized light with almost 100% efficiency. This polarization converter has a 2:1 aspect ratio, which is close to the 16:9 ratio for modern televisions. It can be used therefore in a projection display with polarization-dependent light valves such as a liquid crystal light valve. Both transmittive and reflective light valves can be used. The temperature dependence of the achromatic polarization rotator is also studied.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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