Optimization of LCOS spatial light modulators towards photonic applications
My research is in the field of LCOS technology. LCOS stands for Liquid Crystal on Silicon. This technology is widely used nowadays in cinema projectors, or in AR/VR glasses. These are small liquid crystal displays with many tiny pixels. However, the research is focused on photonic applications, that’s why we call the components not the “displays”, but Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs). I do my research project at HOLOEYE Photonics AG, which is the worldwide market leader for LCOS SLMs.
Why SLM is useful? The SLM changes (modulates) the main physical parameters of a light wave, such as phase and/or polarization in space and time. The SLM acts as a flexible dynamic optical element. It finds its use in telecommunications (e.g. for the signal splitting and routing), in laser material processing (for shaping the laser beam), in microscopy (for contrast enhancement or for the 3D measurements) and many other applications.
If the laser is very powerful, the SLM, which works with it is becomes literally a hot topic and can be damaged. This limits the suitability of the device in some applications (e.g. laser material processing). My research should help improve the situation, make the device more efficient and robust.