Meadowlark’s newest liquid crystal (LC) product, the high speed LC variable retarder (HS LCVR) has a 10X speed improvement over our award winning standard LCVR. The sub-millisecond speeds are achieved without the 50/50 duty cycle drive scheme required by our ferroelectric liquid crystal components, but are nearly as fast. The new LCVR uses nematic liquid crystal materials to electrically control polarization and provide tunable retardation by changing the effective birefringence of the material with applied voltage, thus altering the input polarized light to any chosen elliptical, linear or circular polarization.
Our precision HS LCVR requires unique fabrication and assembly steps. We construct these retarders using optically flat fused silica windows coated with our transparent conductive Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). Our ITO coating is specially designed for maximum transmission from 400 – 700 nm.
Liquid Crystal Variable Retarder response time depends on several parameters, including layer thickness, viscosity, temperature, variations in drive voltage and surface treatment. Liquid crystal response time is proportional to the square of the layer thickness and therefore, the square of the total retardance.