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Dynamic diffractive optical transform

Image Number 12 for United States Patent #7009581.

A dynamic diffractive optical transform. An electric field pattern is created across a body of material, the material being characterized in that it has an optical transmission property which varies in response to of an electric potential applied across a portion thereof. The electric field pattern is created such that the resulting profile of the transmission property is an arbitrary shape which produces a desired diffraction pattern that may not be physically realizable in conventional refractive optics or is a Fresnel lens-like construct derived from a refractive optical element. This is done by selectively applying electric potentials to transparent electrode pairs having liquid crystal material therebetween and preferably relatively small proportions in relation to the relevant wavelength of light, so as to create variations in phase delay that are aperiodic, have other than fifty percent spatial duty factor or have multiple levels of phase delay. The transform is embodied in an optical scanner, an adaptive lens, and an optical switch.

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