In the time since an Austrian botanist named Friedrich Reinitzer discovered that some materials have a middle phase between solid and liquid in 1888, Liquid Crystals, as these materials were to be called, found a wide range of applications from basic scientific research to consumer electronics.
Liquid Crystal (LC) molecules are shaped like rods for which each position is random, although the direction of the rods is regularly-arranged parallel to their long axis. The molecules have a dielectric anisotropy and align with the long axis parallel to the direction of and applied electric field. Today, this characteristic is utilized as the ON/OFF light switch for displaying an image in LC projectors and displays.
2. Santec LC technology
Santec has developed and manufactured LC devices as one of our core technologies for advanced optical devices and systems. The mass production line consists of an 8 inch wafer process. Santec LC devices are characterized by a wide viewing angle, high contrast ratio and high reliability resulting from adopting vertically aligned nematic (VAN) mode and inorganic LC alignment layer.
2.1 LCOS (Liquid Crystal On Silicon)
LCOS is a micro-display and micro-projection technology for LC projector and rear-projection TV.
LOCS is normally reflective type LC panel consisting of reflective layer and LC on Si substrate. Switching elements and electric wires for driving LC are integrated on Si substrate under reflective layer with semiconductor manufacturing technology and the image is characterized by seamless and high pixel resolution.
Santec LCOS devices conform to WXGA dimensions (1280 x 768) and are suitable for various applications including head-mount display, holographic memory and high-end optical system.
2.2 LC devices for optical communication network
A change of LC dielectric constant anisotropy along with applied electric field enables the control of optical phase and amplitude freely.
Santec has developed various optical components and test
instruments utilizing the LC controllability for advanced optical communication networks. Santec LC devices are Telcordia qualified and high reliability is guaranteed in our components and instruments.
The wavelength blocker (WB) is a multi-functional optical module for constructing ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer) nodes in next generation optical networks. The module outputs WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) signals with an arbitrary amplitude or blocking for any WDM channels. Santec WB adopts to reflective type LC devices with segment electrodes corresponding to WDM channel number for optical amplitude control.
Spectrum controllable tunable filters with LCOS technology that enables an arbitrary optical spectrum. The filter allows you to design any complex optical filters for next generation optical communication networks, which were difficult to realize at conventional filter technologies.
The pixel pitch, width and number of LCOS chip are 5 µm, 4.7 µm and 2560 µm, respectively. And 12 bit level of LC driving voltage makes high spectrum control resolution possible.
Santec will contribute to our society with unique optical products by applying our LC technology.