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Optical switches using two electro-optical effects in liquid crystals are proposed and investigated for incorporation in a switch matrix for optical networks. These two devices employ selective reflection in cholesteric layers and total reflection at the border between glass and nematic liquid crystal. Prototypes of these switches have been designed and their parameters have been investigated. Initial results suggest the switching contrast ratio of 38.5 and 42 dB, respectively, with insertion loss about 2.3…2.9 dB for polarized light.
Semenova, Y., Dovgalets, S., Panarin, Y., Farrell, G.: Liquid Crystal Based Optical Switches.Journal of Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, Vol. 413, 2004, pp.385-398