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In Micromachines

As a unique electric-optics material, liquid crystals (LCs) have been used in various light-control applications. In LC-based light-control devices, the structural alignment of LC molecules is of great significance. Generally, additional alignment layers are required for LC lens and microlens, such as rubbed polyimide (PI) layers or photoalignment layers. In this paper, an electrically controlled liquid crystal microlens array (EC-LCMLA) based on single-crystal graphene (SCG) coupling alignment is proposed. A monolayer SCG with high conductivity and initial anchoring of LC molecules was used as a functional electrode, thus no additional alignment layer is needed, which effectively simplifies the basic structure and process flow of conventional LCMLA. Experiments indicated that a uniform LC alignment can be acquired in the EC-LCMLA cell by the SCG coupling alignment effect. The common optical properties including focal lengths and point spread function (PSF) were measured experimentally. Experiments demonstrated that the proposed EC-LCMLA has good focusing performance in the visible to near-infrared range. Moreover, the plenoptic imaging in Galilean mode was achieved by integrating the proposed EC-LCMLA with photodetectors. Digital refocusing was performed to obtain a rendering image of the target.

Chen Mingce, Shao Qi, He Wenda, Wei Dong, Hu Chai, Shi Jiashuo, Liu Kewei, Wang Haiwei, Xie Changsheng, Zhang Xinyu


liquid crystal (LC) device, plenoptic imaging, single-crystal graphene (SCG) alignment