Publications by authors named "Nelson V Tabiryan"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Experimental Verification of a Bigrating Beam Rider.

Phys Rev Lett 2019 Dec;123(24):244302

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.

An optical beam rider making use of a light sail comprising two opposing diffraction gratings is experimentally demonstrated for the first time. We verify that the illuminated space-variant grating structure provides an optical restoring force, exhibiting stable oscillations when the bigrating is displaced from equilibrium. We further demonstrate parametric cooling by illuminating the sail with synchronized light pulses. This experiment enhances the technical feasibility of a laser-driven light sail based on diffractive radiation pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.244302DOI Listing
December 2019

A common-path polarization-based image-inversion interferometer.

Opt Express 2019 Feb;27(4):5685-5695

We present a collinear, common-path image-inversion interferometer using the polarization channels of a single optical beam. Each of the channels is an imaging system of unit magnification, one positive and the other negative (inverted). Image formation is realized by means of a set of anisotropic lenses, each offering refractive power in one polarization and none in the other. The operation of the interferometer as a spatial-parity analyzer is demonstrated experimentally by separating even- and odd-order orbital angular momentum modes of an optical beam. The common-path configuration overcomes the stability issues present in conventional two-path interferometers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.27.005685DOI Listing
February 2019

Hidden Gratings in Holographic Liquid Crystal Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal Films.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018 Apr 4;10(15):13107-13112. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory , Wright-Patterson Air Force Base , Dayton , Ohio 45433-7707 , United States.

Dynamic diffraction gratings that are hidden in the field-off state are fabricated utilizing a room-temperature photocurable liquid crystal (LC) monomer and nematic LC (NLC) using holographic photopolymerization techniques. These holographic LC polymer-dispersed LCs (HLCPDLCs) are hidden because of the refractive index matching between the LC polymer and the NLC regions in the as-formed state (no E-field applied). Application of a moderate E-field (5 V/μm) generates a refractive index mismatch because of the NLC reorientation (along the E-field) generating high-diffraction efficiency transmission gratings. These dynamic gratings are characterized by morphological, optical, and electrooptical techniques. They exhibit a morphology made of oriented LC polymer regions (containing residual NLC) alternating with a two-phase region of an NLC and LC polymer. Unlike classic holographic polymer-dispersed LC gratings formed with a nonmesogenic monomer, there is index matching between the as-formed alternating regions of the grating. These HLCPDLCs exhibit broad band and high diffraction efficiency (≈90%) at the Bragg angle, are transparent to white light across the visible range because of the refractive index matching, and exhibit fast response times (1 ms). The ability of HLCPDLCs not to consume electrical power in the off state opens new possibilities for the realization of energy-efficient switchable photonic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b02821DOI Listing
April 2018

High contrast switching of transmission due to electrohydrodynamic effect in stacked thin systems of liquid crystals.

Appl Opt 2016 Oct;55(30):8506-8512

We study the opportunity of using electrohydrodynamic instabilities in a nematic liquid crystal mixture with negative dielectric anisotropy for controlling laser beams. Switching between naturally transparent and diffuse light scattering states is achieved by application of low frequency, low amplitude voltages. The specifics of diffuse light scattering state depending on the orientation and thickness of the liquid crystal layer are revealed. The switching occurs on a milliseconds time scale. Combination of thin, flexible liquid crystal cells allows polarization independent, high contrast, fast switching in a broad band of visible wavelengths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.55.008506DOI Listing
October 2016

Beam steering for virtual/augmented reality displays with a cycloidal diffractive waveplate.

Opt Express 2016 Apr;24(7):7287-98

We proposed a switchable beam steering device with cycloidal diffractive waveplate (CDW) for eye tracking in a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) display system. Such a CDW diffracts the incident circularly polarized light to the first order with over 95% efficiency. To convert the input linearly polarized light to right-handed or left-handed circular polarization, we developed a broadband polarization switch consisting of a twisted nematic liquid crystal cell and an achromatic quarter-wave retardation film. By cascading 2-3 CDWs together, multiple diffraction angles can be achieved. To suppress the color dispersion, we proposed two approaches to obtain the same diffraction angle for red, green, and blue LEDs-based full color displays. Our device exhibits several advantages, such as high diffraction efficiency, fast response time, low power consumption, and low cost. It holds promise for the emerging VR/AR displays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.007287DOI Listing
April 2016

Broadband waveplate lenses.

Opt Express 2016 Apr;24(7):7091-102

We report on lenses that operate over the visible wavelength band from 450 nm to beyond 700 nm, and other lenses that operate over a wide region in the near-infrared from 650 nm to beyond 1000 nm. Lenses were recorded in liquid crystal polymer layers only a few micrometers thick, using laser-based photoalignment and UV photopolymerization. Waveplate lenses allowed focusing and defocusing laser beams depending on the sign of the circularity of laser beam polarization. Diffraction efficiency of recorded waveplate lenses was up to 90% and contrast ratio was up to 500:1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.007091DOI Listing
April 2016

Thin waveplate lenses of switchable focal length--new generation in optics.

Opt Express 2015 Oct;23(20):25783-94

We present new lenses - waveplate lenses created in liquid crystal and liquid crystal polymer materials. Using an electrically-switchable liquid-crystal half-wave retarder we realized switching between focused and defocused beams by the waveplate lens. A combination of two such lenses allowed the collimation of a laser beam as well as the change of focal length of optical system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.23.025783DOI Listing
October 2015

Photopiezoelectric composites of azobenzene-functionalized polyimides and polyvinylidene fluoride.

Macromol Rapid Commun 2014 Dec 22;35(24):2050-6. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, 45433, USA; Azimuth Corporation, 4134 Linden Avenue, Dayton, OH, 45432, USA.

Light is a readily available and sustainable energy source. Transduction of light into mechanical work or electricity in functional materials, composites, or systems has other potential advantages derived from the ability to remotely, spatially, and temporally control triggering by light. Toward this end, this work examines photoinduced piezoelectric (photopiezoelectric) effects in laminate composites prepared from photoresponsive polymeric materials and the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). In the geometry studied here, photopiezoelectric conversion is shown to strongly depend on the photomechanical properties inherent to the azobenzene-functionalized polyimides. Based on prior examinations of photomechanical effects in azobenzene-functionalized polyimides, this investigation focuses on amorphous materials and systematically varies the concentration of azobenzene in the copolymers. The baseline photomechanical response of the set of polyimides is characterized in cantilever deflection experiments. To improve the photomechanical response of the materials and enhance the electrical conversion, the polyimides are drawn to increase the magnitude of the deflection as well as photogenerated stress. In laminate composites, the photomechanical response of the materials in sequenced light exposure is shown to transduce light energy into electrical energy. The frequency of the photopiezoelectric response of the composite can match the frequency of the sequenced light exposing the films.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/marc.201400455DOI Listing
December 2014

Improving vector vortex waveplates for high-contrast coronagraphy.

Opt Express 2013 Apr;21(7):8205-13

BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 S. Orlando Ave., Suite I, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA.

Vector vortex waveplates (VVWs) open the door to new techniques in stellar coronagraphy and optical communications, but the performance of currently available liquid-crystal-polymer-based VVWs tends to be limited by defects in the axial region of the vortex pattern. As described here, several steps allow for a reduction in the size of such axial defects, including the use of photoalignment materials with high photosensitivity and reversible response, and a reduction in exposure energy. Moreover, redistributing the writing beam's intensity from the axial region to its periphery (using a VVW) allows the production of large area VVWs with a small defect area. Finally, using VVWs as linear to axial polarization converters allows producing VVWs of higher topological charge, while also reducing the photoalignment time to a few minutes. These steps have allowed the fabrication of VVWs with topological charges of 1 and 2 with central defect sizes below 3 μm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.008205DOI Listing
April 2013

Photostimulated control of laser transmission through photoresponsive cholesteric liquid crystals.

Opt Express 2013 Jan;21(2):1645-55

Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433, USA.

Cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) are selectively reflective optical materials, the color of which can be tuned via electrical, thermal, mechanical, or optical stimuli. In this work, we show that self-regulation of the transmission of a circularly polarized incident beam can occur upon phototuning of the selective reflection peak of a photosensitive CLC mixture towards the pump wavelength. The autonomous behavior occurs as the red-shifting selective reflection peak approaches the wavelength of the incident laser light. Once the red-edge of the CLC bandgap and incident laser wavelength overlap, the rate of tuning dramatically slows. The dwell time (i.e., duration of the overlap of stimulus wavelength with CLC bandgap) is shown to depend on the radiation wavelength, polarization, and intensity. Necessary conditions for substantial dwell time of the CLC reflection peak at the pump beam wavelength include irradiation with low intensity light (~1mW/cm²) and the utilization of circularly polarized light of the same handedness as the helical structure within the CLC. Monitoring the optical properties in both reflection and transmission geometries elucidates differences associated with attenuation of the light through the thickness of the CLC film.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.001645DOI Listing
January 2013

All-optical diffractive/transmissive switch based on coupled cycloidal diffractive waveplates.

Opt Express 2012 Feb;20(5):5460-9

Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., Winter Park, Florida 32789, USA.

Pairs of cycloidal diffractive waveplates can be used to doubly diffract or collinearly propagate laser radiation of the appropriate wavelength. The use of a dynamic phase retarder placed in between the pair can be utilized to switch between the two optical states. We present results from the implementation of an azo-based retarder whose optical properties can be modulated using light itself. We show fast and efficient switching between the two states for both CW and single nanosecond laser pulses of green radiation. Contrasts greater than 100:1 were achieved. The temporal response as a function of light intensity is presented and the optical switching is shown to be polarization independent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.005460DOI Listing
February 2012

Optically switchable, rapidly relaxing cholesteric liquid crystal reflectors.

Opt Express 2010 Apr;18(9):9651-7

Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 South Orlando Avenue, Suite I, Winter Park, FL, USA.

Reversible, fast, all-optical switching of the reflection of a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) is demonstrated in a formulation doped with push-pull azobenzene dyes. The reflection of the photosensitive CLC compositions is optically switched by exposure to 488 and 532 nm CW lasers as well as ns pulsed 532 nm irradiation. Laser-directed optical switching of the reflection of the CLC compositions occurs rapidly, within a few hundred milliseconds for the CW laser lines examined here. Also observed is optical switching on the order of tens of nanoseconds when the CLC is exposed to a single nanosecond pulse with 0.2 J/cm(2) energy density. The rapid cis-trans isomerization typical of push-pull azobenzene dye is used for the first time to rapidly restore the reflection of the CLC from a photoinduced isotropic state within seconds after cessation of light exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.009651DOI Listing
April 2010

Azobenzene liquid crystalline materials for efficient optical switching with pulsed and/or continuous wave laser beams.

Opt Express 2010 Apr;18(8):8697-704

Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 South Orlando Avenue, Suite I, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA.

This study compares optical switching capabilities of liquid crystal (LC) materials based on different classes of azobenzene dyes. LCs based on molecules containing benzene rings with nearly symmetrical pi-pi conjugation respond more efficiently to a cw beam than to a nanosecond laser pulse and maintain the changes induced by the beam for tens of hours. Using azo dye molecules containing two benzene rings with push-pull pi-pi conjugation we demonstrate high photosensitivity to both a cw beam as well as nanosecond laser pulse with only 1 s relaxation of light-induced changes in material properties. Even faster, 1 ms restoration time is obtained for azo dye molecules containing hetaryl (benzothiazole) ring with enhanced push-pull pi-pi conjugation. These materials respond most efficiently to pulsed excitation while discriminating cw radiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.008697DOI Listing
April 2010

Study of azo dye surface command photoalignment material for photonics applications.

Appl Opt 2010 Apr;49(10):1720-7

Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Company, 809 South Orlando Avenue Suite I, Winter Park, Florida 32789, USA.

We provide detailed quantitative characterization of sulfonic bisazodye SD1 as a photoalignment material for photonics applications. The reversibility of photoalignment was tested for transformations between planar and 90 degrees twist orientation states in a liquid crystal (LC) cell using polarized UV light. No degradation was observed for 100 cycles of transformations. A given twist angle of the LC orientation was obtained in a single step, as well as in a sequence of gradually increasing angles. A hysteresis is revealed in the latter case for planar-twist-planar cycles. The material was used for obtaining patterned orientation of a LC polymer providing similarly good quality photoalignment for UV as well as visible light. High efficiency large area and high spatial frequency optical axis gratings (or, polarization gratings) were demonstrated on a polycarbonate substrate. We show the opportunity of obtaining photoalignment in a multilayer system with single exposure to a polarized light. Finally, we provide evidence of a positive feedback in the dynamics of photoalignment due to the orientational effect of an increasing number of aligned molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.49.001720DOI Listing
April 2010

Azobenzene liquid crystal polymer-based membrane and cantilever optical systems.

Opt Express 2009 Aug;17(18):15736-46

BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 South Orlando Avenue, Suite I, Winter Park, Florida 32789, USA.

Optically deformable membranes and cantilevers based on azobenzene liquid crystal polymer networks (azo-LCN) are demonstrated in the context of dynamic optical systems. Large modulations in laser beam propagation direction or amplitude directed by laser-induced changes in material shape are demonstrated. These macroscopic shape changes are induced by local changes to the liquid crystalline order induced by photoisomerization processes. We demonstrate herein a number of concepts including the focusing and defocusing action of an azo-LCN membrane, laser beam steering from a bimorph azo-LCN/metal cantilever, and surface initiated bending and blocking of a parallel propagating laser beam. High speed and large angle deformations of an incident or reference beam is demonstrated when coupled into suitable optical architectures. The concepts under discussion appear to be highly practical for a number of applications due to the significant nonlinearity and photosensitivity of azo-LCN materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.17.015736DOI Listing
August 2009

Characterization of optically imprinted polarization gratings.

Appl Opt 2009 Jul;48(21):4062-7

BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 S. Orlando Avenue., Suite I, Winter Park, Florida 32789, USA.

We provide detailed description and characterization of specifics of the imprinting technique for fabrication of large-area and high-efficiency liquid crystal polymer polarization gratings. We show that the quality of polarization gratings imprinted with linear polarized light is as high as that of gratings obtained in the holographic process, while exhibiting twice larger diffraction angle. The cycloidal polarization pattern used for imprinting is obtained from a master polarization grating, and the importance of fine tuning of its peak diffraction wavelength to the wavelength of imprinting radiation is emphasized. Tuning of the peak diffraction wavelength of imprinted polarization gratings from UV to near IR was realized with the aid of multilayer structures. Since the imprinting process does not involve a holographic setup, it is insensitive to ambient conditions and vibrations and provides an opportunity for large scale production of polarization gratings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ao.48.004062DOI Listing
July 2009

Polarization insensitive imaging through polarization gratings.

Opt Express 2009 Feb;17(3):1817-30

BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 S. Orlando Ave., Suite I, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA.

Liquid crystal polarization gratings exhibit high diffraction efficiency (approximately 100%) in thin material layers comparable to the radiation wavelength. We demonstrate that they can be combined for polarization-insensitive imaging and optical switching applications. A pair of closely spaced, parallel oriented, cycloidal polarization gratings is capable of canceling the diffractive property of an individual grating. As a result, the phase of the beam is not distorted, and holographic images can be formed through them. An anti-parallel arrangement results in a broader effective diffraction band and doubles the diffraction angle. Broadband diffraction spanning from 480 nm to beyond 900 nm wavelengths has been obtained for a pair of gratings with 500 nm and 633 nm peak diffraction wavelengths. Liquid crystal polymer cycloidal gratings were used in the study showing 98% diffraction efficiency over a large area, and allowed for the use of laser beams expanded to 25 mm. The characteristics of combined cycloidal gratings were tested with laser beams at both UV and red wavelengths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/oe.17.001817DOI Listing
February 2009

Polarization-controlled switching between diffraction orders in transverse-periodically aligned nematic liquid crystals.

Opt Lett 2006 Aug;31(15):2248-50

Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., 809 South Orlando Avenue, Suite I, Winter Park, Florida 32789, USA.

Transverse-periodic-oriented nematic liquid crystals (LCs) are a special type of optical axis grating that are capable of very high efficiency diffraction (theoretically, 100%) in thin layers of materials with thickness comparable to the radiation wavelength. In particular, they fully diffract linearly polarized input beam into circularly polarized +1st and -1st diffraction orders. We experimentally demonstrate switching between diffraction orders of such gratings when the polarization of the incident beam changes from right-circular to left-circular and vice versa with the aid of an electrically controlled LC phase retarder. Such a setup in which the diffraction efficiency and direction are controlled externally, without application of an electric field to the transverse-periodic grating, provides additional control opportunities and does not compromise the quality of the grating. The grating used in the experiment was 1.5 microm thick and had a period of 4 microm. The contrast ratio of switching between the +1st and -1st orders was as high as 267:1 for a He-Ne laser beam with a switching time of 6.6 ms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ol.31.002248DOI Listing
August 2006

Polarization-universal bandgap in periodically twisted nematics.

Opt Lett 2006 Jun;31(11):1678-80

College of Opitcs and Photonics/CREOL, University of Central Florida, Florida 32816-2700, USA.

Cholesteric liquid crystals are known to possess bandgap and exhibit strong reflection for one of two circular polarizations of light. We suggest a periodically twisted nematic liquid crystal as a medium, which possesses bandgap and exhibits strong reflection for any polarization of normally incident light. Two possible structures are considered: a sinusoidal modulation profile and a rectangular modulation profile. In both cases, the maximum bandgap of a periodically twisted structure is approximately twice as narrow as that of cholesterics. However, the polarization properties of these structures may make them more advantageous than cholesterics in a variety of applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ol.31.001678DOI Listing
June 2006

Self-activated liquid-crystal cells with photovoltaic substrates.

Opt Lett 2006 Apr;31(7):993-5

Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433, USA.

We show that photovoltaic fields are capable of efficiently reorienting liquid crystals, leading to new concepts of optically addressable light modulators. Using an arrangement consisting of a liquid-crystal layer between LiNbO3:Fe photovoltaic substrates, we observed spatial filtering due to self-phase modulation in a planar-oriented cell and nonlinear transmission between crossed polarizers in a twist-oriented cell. These processes do not require an external electric field. The substrates are arranged such that light propagates along the +c axis in each substrate, allowing a secondary process of power transfer to occur through contradirectional photorefractive two-beam coupling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ol.31.000993DOI Listing
April 2006