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Polarization Directed Flat Lenses, which are formed with polymerized liquid crystal thin-film, create a focal length that is dependent on polarization state. Shelby Ament, Optical Engineer, demonstrates how these exciting new lenses can generate a positive or negative focal lengths based on the direction of circularly polarized light. For more information, check out: Trending in Optics: Polarization Directed Flat Lenses
Recent developments in diffractive technology have enabled new thin lightweight optical components with a focus output that can be manipulated by the polarization state of instant light. Hi, I'm Shelby, optical engineer at Edmund optics and I'm going to tell you about polarization directed flat lenses and demonstrate how this exciting new product works. These lenses, which are formed with polymerized liquid crystal thin film, create a focal length which is dependent on incident polarization state. They are unique in that they will have either a positive or a negative focal length depending on the input polarization. In this demonstration we create either left-handed or right-handed circular polarized light using a polarizer and a quarter wave plate. As you can see here, with right-handed circular polarized light the lens has a positive focal length and the light comes to a focus. Now by rotating the quarter wave plate to create left-handed circular polarized light, the lens has a negative focal length and the light diverges. for a given input polarization state the orientation of the lens is also important. As you can see here when, I flip the lens the diverging light now comes to a focus. When used with unpolarized light the lens now operates with both focal lengths creating two versions of the same image: one magnified and one minified. This liquid crystal technology can also be used to create special gratings, aspheres, polarizers, wave plates, and chromatic correction components that are either difficult or impossible to fabricate using traditional manufacturing techniques. I hope you enjoyed this demonstration. for more information on polarization directed flat lenses please visit us at www.edmundoptics.com . Thanks for watching.