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New Generation Optical Elements Application Research and Device Development

Project Status: 3 Approved without Funding
Duration in months: 36 months


The Project will develop a system (tool) for liquid crystal based new generation optical elements recording, and design and production of prototypes of enhanced devices for biology, nanotechnology and medical use. The result of project will be the creation of a tool for recording of liquid crystals optical transparencies and laboratory prototypes of enhanced polarimeter, ellipsometer and non-invasive glucometer.

The developed tool will include: a mathematical model describing the forming process of given light wave front using LC phase transparency, numerical model of LC transparency recording process with given space-frequency phase response, and an optical system with specially developed software for transparency recording process according to simulated matrix.

Application of Jones matrix formalism will allow creating a mathematical model of anisotropic LC phase transparency both with radial and azimuthal symmetry and analytically describing transparency using hardware functions. Hardware function will determine the phase front at the output, knowing polarization distribution at the transparency input, as well as solve the inverse problem - to model and create a transparency for obtaining the required phase front. As a result of the project implementation using the developed tool the LC polymer based optical components (transparency), such as circular diffractive waveplates, vector vortex waveplates, etc will be prepared.
On the base of these elements the laboratory prototypes of polarimeter, ellipsometer and non-invasive glucometer will be developed.

When making optical elements based on liquid crystals LC molecules orientation conventionally was based on the application of surface-active substance, rubbing or oblique evaporation of orienting layer. Rubbing however produces some defects and these become more of a problem as pixel size decreases. With multi-domain alignment, the need to carry out multiple rubbing operations and to mask those areas of the surface not being rubbed is costly and reduces yield. So much research and development effort has gone into developing liquid crystal technologies that do not require a rubbed alignment layer. Two non-contact methods have been proposed: one uses ion beams, the other - light (photoalignment methods). Ion beam methods are costly because they operate only under high vacuum. Because they do not require a vacuum, photoalignment methods are lower cost. Photoalignment is a noncontact method allowing obtaining high-quality orientation with small defects. The uniqueness of the method is the possibility of forming both a discrete and continuously changing orientations. Recently, synthesis of photo orienting liquid crystal polymers created a major basis for creation of optical elements of new generation, such as phase retarders with planar orientation, circular diffractive waveplates (CDW), vector vortex waveplates (VVW), centrally symmetric planar elements with radial and azimuthal LC director distribution, elements with more complex geometric phases (phase elements of Pancharatnam-Berry). Creation of new generation optical elements becomes the basis for a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of optical instrumentation, i.e. devices for studying and investigation of optically active substances such as bio-objects, multi-layer nanostructures.

The project seeks to develop a tool for making optical elements that have no analogues in modern optics, using modern, advanced technologies. Software, allowing synthesizing an arbitrary hardware function used in the recording process of LC transparency, will also be created. Creation of this tool will lead to revolutionary burst in optics; the use of these elements will lead to creation of compact, high-speed, easy to use and inexpensive optical devices, such as polarimeter, ellipsometer, and non-invasive glucometer.

The project will:
1- Develop software tool for control of liquid crystal based phase transparency recording process.
2- Design optical scheme and recording technology.
3- Design and record liquid crystal based phase transparencies with arbitrary azimuthal and radial symmetry.
4- Develop polarimeter, ellipsometer, non-invasive glucometer including laboratory prototypes of developed devices.
5- Carry out laboratory and independent testing of developed devices.

Participating Institutions


Yerevan State University (YSU)


M. A. Ajtkhozhin Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (IMBB)


Beam Engineering for Advance Measurements Co.