Abstract

A twisted-nematic liquid-crystal display (TN-LCD) placed between two linear polarizers (P) generally produces coupled intensity and phase modulations. For the purpose of phase-only modulation, quarter-wave plates (QWPs) are often used in front of or behind the LCD. In this paper, we demonstrate theoretically and experimentally the QWPs’ effect on the modulation properties of the TN-LCD based on the general Jones matrix descriptions for all the devices, which circumvents the inconvenience of the traditional method on the basis of the TN-LCD’s internal parameters. We prove that the phase modulation depth of the TN-LCD can be further increased in the configuration of P1-QWP1-LCD-QWP2-P2 with each component properly oriented, provided that the mean intensity transmission is decreased to a lower level. By observing the diffracted patterns of the Ronchi phase grating or blazed grating addressed onto the TN-LCD, we verify the validity of the proposed method. Improved reconstructed image quality from the kinoform loaded on the TN-LCD is obtained in this configuration. This approach is valuable when the TN-LCD is employed as a phase modulator, especially for the modern, thinner TN-LCD.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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