Controlled Beam Steering Using Two-Beam Coupling for Optical Routing Applications

Optical routing applications involve the re-direction of an optical beam from one path direction to another in a well-controlled, rapid manner. One possible means of re-direction involves the use of two-beam coupling in photorefractive polymer films.

Novel polymer photorefractive systems are attractive candidates for beam steering since two-beam coupling in many polymer composites is very efficient and temporarily fast. In two beam coupling, the direction of the beam diffraction is a function of the angle between the two interacting beams in the polymer. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab’s concept relies on the ability to rapidly control this angle and hence control the optical direction of the diffracted beam.

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