Electro-optics Lab

Our current optics laboratory is very well supplied for an undergraduate-only institution. Optical equipment includes five optical tables, including two with anti-vibration legs, a 30 W single frequency argon ion laser, a 35 mW helium neon laser, a helium cadmium laser, and a broad assortment of low power helium neon and diode lasers. We also have two confocal microscopes and we will putting together an optical tweezers system. We have a full complement of mirrors, beamsplitters, polarizers, photodetectors, optical fibers, lenses, and filters.

In addition to such standard optical equipment, we have essentially all the equipment necessary to study electro-, magneto- and opto-optic effects. These facilities include a polarizing microscope equipped with conoscopy and imaging attachments as well as a controllable hot stage (0.001 K control up to 200 oC). Our automated liquid crystal display (LCD) characterization system, Electrooptical Measurement Set-up (EOM), is used to test properties of liquid crystal cells. Its capabilities include programmable pulse/function generator, static (transmission vs voltage) measurement module, time response measurement module, viewing angle measurement module, pretilt measurement module, null ellipsometry measurement module, and spectrometer. The setup is controlled by the proprietary EOM software. Our electrooptic cell production facilities include a class-1000 research cleanroom. This room is used for preparation and assembly of the cells and contains a Specialty Coating spincoater and a vacuum evaporation system that is used to create inorganic alignment layers with different pretilt angle and anchoring strengths.