Propagating Transverse Electric and Transverse Magnetic Modes in Liquid Crystal-Clad Planar Waveguides
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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In a planar dielectric waveguide, weak confinement of a propagating mode in a high index core leads to a measurable evanescent interaction with the cladding. In this work, we study the effect of a reorientable anisotropic cladding on the behaviour of Transverse Electric TE and Transverse Magnetic TM mode polarisations using a liquid crystal LC-clad waveguide architecture. The polarised evanescent field of a guided mode interacts with a voltage-tunable birefringent LC cladding to deflect an out-coupled beam. Experimental measurements are coupled with a theoretical framework and show good consistency with simulation results. We isolate the effect of mode confinement by changing the thickness of the high index core. Interactions between the LC index ellipsoid and the mode polarisation are probed by changing the initial alignment of the LC. Finally, we examine the difference in deflection between TE and TM modes, which incorporates both a change in mode confinement and a difference in LC index components.