Chiral nematic liquid crystal with inclined helical axis by photoalignment, as a platform for flat free-form diffractive optics

01 November 2022 → 31 October 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Other engineering and technology not elsewhere classified
Chiral liquid crystal Diffractive optical elements Photoalignment
Project description

Chiral liquid crystal (CLC) spontaneously organizes in a periodic helical structure that can reflect certain wavelength ranges of the visible spectrum. By using a nanopattern of photoalignment on the surface of a glass substrate, the helical axis of the CLC can be tilted with respect to the surface normal. The resulting anisotropic layer acts as a reflective diffraction grating. By adjusting the illumination pattern, different optical functionalities can be realized in the CLC device: linear gratings, spherical lenses, free-form lenses, spectrometer components. The aim of the project is to improve the technological steps for the fabrication, simulate the optical behaviour of the diffraction gratings and design a number of advanced optical components.