Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a fabrication process to create patterned polarizers for various visible wavelengths using dichroic dye in a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) host directly on an array of optical sensors. This invention uses multiple layers of an LPP/LCP system to create more complex polarization elements such as color circular polarizers, waveplates of arbitrary retardance, and linear and circular polarizers. The process is simple and inexpensive compared to other micropolarizer systems.
Patterned polarizers have a variety of applications in polarimetry, interferometry, three dimensional displays, and optical data storage. Wire-grid polarizers are by far the most common commercial products for infrared applications; however, micropatterned wire-grid polarizers have limited spatial resolution and poor performance at visible wavelengths, require complicated lithographic processing, are susceptible to defects and cannot be easily extended to non-linear polarizations. An alternative is the photo alignment of absorbing materials which can produce micron sized polarizers of high efficiency and extinction for ultra violet (UV), visible, and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. While smaller resolution alignment has been demonstrated, it is impractical for large areas.
Licensing Manager, Tech Launch Arizona
Refer to case # UA11-058