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Polychromatic digital optics for structured light

Project description

A high-efficiency spatial light modulator in the visible spectrum

Spatial light modulators are a class of optical devices that impose some form of spatially-varying modulation on a light beam. State-of-the-art devices operate efficiently only at a given wavelength. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the BB-SLM project plans to develop a digitally controlled spatial light modulator that will demonstrate high efficiency in the whole visible spectrum. To achieve its goal, the project will combine an achromatic geometric phase shifter with circular Bragg reflection from spatially modulated chiral liquid crystals. The inherently robust topological structures that spontaneously appear in soft matter systems, such as liquid crystals, allow controlling the interaction between the polarisation state of light and its spatial degrees of freedom.

Objective

The development of photonics technologies implies ever-increasing agile optical components operating enabling the manipulation of the spatial degrees of freedom of light over broad spectral ranges. To date, spatial light modulators is a class of digital optical devices offering versatile management of light, however, state-of-the-art devices are operating efficiently only at a given wavelength. Here we propose to develop a digitally controlled spatial light modulator combining efficiency with intrinsically broadband behavior spanning the whole visible spectrum. This will be accomplished by integrating the advantage of spin controlled achromatic geometric Berry phase with broadband polarization-dependent circular Bragg reflection from spatially modulated chiral liquid crystals. Despite more than a century-long history of liquid crystals, the first report on the accumulation of Berry phase due to Bragg reflection came only very recently from the research group lead by the host scientist. The proposed two-year project to develop spatial light-modulators based on this basic physical principle. By doing so, we aim at controlling the interaction between the polarization state of light with its spatial degrees of freedoms (i.e. the spin-orbit interaction of light) by exploiting the inherently robust and diverse topological structures that spontaneously appear in anisotropic soft condensed matter systems such as liquid crystals. In particular, we will take advantage of both the self-organization orientational processes occurring in liquid crystals and their extreme sensitivity to external fields. By implementing a recently demonstrated physical concepts into a novel generation of spin-orbit optical devices enabling spatial control of the optical phase over a broad spectral range, this project will offer further possible applications for advanced photonic technologies, for instance in optical data processing, optical imaging and optical manipulation.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITE DE BORDEAUX
Net EU contribution
€ 196 707,84
Address
Place pey berland 35
33000 Bordeaux
France

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Region
Nouvelle-Aquitaine Aquitaine Gironde
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00