Prototype Construction

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We have constructed small-scale prototypes using off-the-shelf film products from Reflexite as the grooved substrate. The film has a zig zag profile with a 45░ prism angle and a pitch of 24 Ám. We use Merck E7 liquid crystal to fill the grooves. The ordinary refractive index of E7 does not match the refractive index of the film nor is the prism angle of the film as large as we would like, so these components are not ideal for a commercial product. Nevertheless, they more than suffice for model verification.

There is only one layer of liquid crystal prisms in this prototype so only one polarization of light can be steered. One can choose to steer any polarization direction one likes by choosing the direction of the surface treatment. It is most convenient if the prototype steers light which is polarized either parallel to or perpendicular to the groove direction. We have built many prototypes of each.