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8 February 2008 Flat electrowetting optics and displays
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Flat electrowetting optics currently include pixel arrays for displays and prism arrays for beam steering. Electrowetting display pixels utilize a colored oil layer that provides high efficiency control of light transmission or light reflection. Electrowetting microprisms tilt the angle of the meniscus between liquids with different refractive index and thereby cause refraction of a light beam passing through the meniscus. Both of these technologies are projected to provide an order of magnitude increase in raw performance compared to liquid-crystal and other technologies. For example, transmissive electrowetting displays are expected to achieve >80% transmission, which far exceeds the ~8% transmission of a commercial liquid crystal display. Electrowetting microprisms have a clear roadmap leading to greater than +/- 45° of continuous beam steering, which surpasses the few degrees of beam steering achieved with electro-optic phased arrays. However, before widespread commercial application can be achieved, a variety of other challenges, such as low-voltage operation, must be solved. Many of these challenges are engineering problems, not fundamental scientific discoveries, and significant technological progress is expected for flat electrowetting optics.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jason C. Heikenfeld, Neil R. Smith, Bo Sun, Kaichang Zhou, Linlin Hou, Yanrong Lao, and Balaji Raj "Flat electrowetting optics and displays", Proc. SPIE 6887, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VII, 688705 (8 February 2008);

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