Abstract

A new type of general purpose digital light deflector is described, which is based on the electrically controlled vaporization of a high refractive index transparent liquid at an inclined interface formed by the liquid and a transparent solid. Deflectors operating on this principle can be designed to provide multiposition linear or angular displacement of a light beam in one or two dimensions. Such deflectors can be random accessed, are capable of large angular deflection, are simple and cheap to build, occupy a small volume, and should have a long operating life. Furthermore, they are not limited to deflecting only small diameter, monochromatic, polarized light beams. Millisecond deflection is possible at power levels of 0.3 W/mm2 of light beam area. The deflectors have high optical transmission efficiency with on-off contrast ratios of 150:1 and higher.

© 1972 Optical Society of America

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