The Fourth Generation Optics and Electro-Optics
Nelson Tabiryan, Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Corporation.
The seminar provides an intuitive introduction into the underlying principles of the new generation of optical components and systems, requiring only basic knowledge (or just an interest) in optics. The course will make it evident for attendees that:
- a thin grating may possess near 100% diffraction efficiency;
- a flat thin film may perform as a high power lens, prism, spiral phase plate, beam shaper, etc., and in a broadband of wavelengths comparable to that of glass and other transparent optical materials;
- optical functions can be switched on and off with low voltage drives;
- thin film optical components can be combined to provide versatile all-electronic, non-mechanical, beam control functions such as beam steering, switching between multiple focal points, spectral tuning, variable transmission, etc.
- an ultralight and ultrathin film may be used as primary optics for a very large telescope, both for deep space communication as well as imaging.
- an ultralight and ultrathin film of broadband high efficiency diffraction may serve as solar sails…
The first generation of optics relied on shaping an optically transparent material such as glass. Modulating refractive index instead of shape – the second generation of optics – allows thinner components but compromises bandwidth. Anisotropic materials make available two more opportunities for controlling light beams. LCD industry is exploring one of them, modulation of effective birefringence - the third generation of optics. The fourth generation of optics is based on patterning optical axis orientation in the plane of anisotropic films and related geometrical phase modulation. As thin film coatings on any desired substrate, including plastic, flat or curved, all different varieties of optical functions are obtained using the same materials and processes. The 4G lenses, prisms, vortex waveplates, etc., are thin films of continuous structures that combine the broadband efficiency of conventional optics with low-cost and fast manufacturing opportunities typical for polymer films.
A brief review can be found in N. Tabiryan et al., “4G Optics: New Technology Extends Limits to the Extremes,” Photonics Spectra, March, 2017, pp. 46-50.
Nelson Tabiryan is the CEO of Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements Corporation. He received a Ph.D. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Institute of Physical Investigations of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, in 1982, and D. Sc. Degree from the Highest Qualifying Commission of the USSR in 1986. He is OSA Fellow (since 1999), NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concept) fellow, Alexander Von Humboldt Research Scholar. Recipient of the Frederiks Medal (2017).
Chairman of the International Topical Meetings on Photoalignment and Photopatterning of Soft Matter (PhoSM-2020); chairman of the Optics of Liquid Crystals (OLC) advisory board (2007-2011); Chairman and co-chairman of international meetings OLC-2005 (Sand Key, Florida), OLC-2007 (Puebla, Mexico), SPIE’s Display Sciences (Berlin, Germany, 1996). Program Committee member of Liquid Crystals conference series of SPIE’s Optics & Photonics, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies conference series of SPIE’s Photonics West, Mediterranean Topical Meetings on New Optical Materials and Applications. Keynote, plenary and invited speaker in many conferences.
Over 250 refereed publications and 40 issued and pending patents, a monograph, book chapters, Guest Editor for conference proceedings. Principal Investigator of numerous R&D projects with the U.S. Government and industry distinguished, particularly, by Photonics Circle of Excellence award (2001) and the American Chemical Society’s Cooperative Research Award (2013).
Interests and the expertise include: diffractive waveplates; polarization holography and digital polarization holography; optics, electro-optics, nonlinear optics of liquid crystals; displays; control and characterization of laser beams; photoresponsive materials, composite materials, photonic bandgap materials. With the guidance of Dr. Nelson Tabiryan, and in collaboration with US Army’s Natick Soldier RD&E Center, Air Force Research Laboratories, and NASA, BEAM Co. has become the first and so far the only organization in the USA that developed key materials underlying the Fourth Generation optics, and has demonstrated technology capabilities by pioneering the development of thin-film, high efficiency, large area, flat and free-form optics and photonics components and systems, among them non-mechanical beam steering and variable focus systems.
PARKING: Nearest parking to the Carlson Center Building is Lot F. Parking in Lot F is free to the public after 5 PM.Note that the talk begins at 6 PM, not 7 PM, and there will be no pre-talk dinner.