The main goal of the project Secondos is to drastically extend the application potential of light steering components based on liquid crystal materials, by demonstrating devices that overcome the main limitations of the current state-of-the-art components. More specifically, we want to tackle several important limitations that currently prevent light steering components based on liquid crystals from being applied in many photonic products.
In this project we will work with two different types of demonstrators. Concept demonstrators are components with a basic optical functionality and for which the research focus is towards a precise specification. For example, a smart optical component that allows to reposition the focus of an incident parallel beam of light with a given switching speed. The working area of these concept demonstrators will be small in order to limit the production cost. Another type of demonstrators are the application demonstrators. These are components with a more complex optical functionality that is often comprised of two basic adaptive functionalities. The aimed specifications are chosen in function of a specific application domain. For example, a smart optical component that redirects the light from an LED in two dimensions. And this with a sufficient steering range and switching speed for application as an eye steering backlight. The working area of these application demonstrators is large and the light manipulation may vary for different positions across the component.
Some of the envisaged application domains are: