Thin Film Vanadium Oxide Spatial Light Modulators and Methods
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) based infrared spatial light modulators (SLM) in four embodiments are disclosed: (1) A VO2 thin film is deposited on a planar diode array. Each diode constitutes a "pixel" of the SLM. Power provided to a diode permits accurate thermal control about the thin film's hysteresis. Initial biasing of the diode array is required to the base of the VO2's hysteresis curve. (2) & (3) VO2 is deposited on a thermoelectric array, which can be an array of doped lines of p and n type material or a conductive material between two electrical contacts. The pixels have the ability to both heat and cool the VO2 film, thereby allowing the array to be operated in a bistable mode. Bistable operation requires external biasing to the center of the VO2's hysteresis curve. (4) A VO2 thin film deposited on a substrate that is spaced a distance, L, from an array of vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers for heating the VO2.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 5,608,568 issued.
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