Universal Spatial Light Modulator
The proposed work aims to develop "smart" spatial light modulators (SLMs) that integrate photodetectors, light modulators, and electronic processing. These SLMs exploit an easily fabricated hybrid optoelectronic technology that places ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) light modulators directly atop silicon VLSI circuitry. We propose here to design and fabricate a small prototype FLC/VLSI SLM implementing an innovative "universal" function: it can be addressed either electrically or optically, or read out electrically as a camera. The Phase I effort will focus on achieving detector sensitivity and uniformity in pixels 30 micron or smaller; it should yield a prototype SLM with an array size of 32 x 32 or greater, and a frame update rate greater than 1kHz. The proposed effort includes pixel circuit design and simulation, VLSI layout, silicon integrated circuit (IC) fabrication, fabrication of FLC modulators atop the IC, and characterization of the resulting SLM. Phase II should result in arrays sizes of 256 x 256 or greater with contrast better than 200:1 and frame rates in excess of 10 kHz. The resulting SLMs will be no larger than a packaged integrated circuit like microprocessor, and will require no specialized driver circuitry beyond a standard logic-level interface.
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Principal Investigator:Mark A. Handschy
2200 Central Avenue Boulder, CO 80301
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