Photoemitter Membrane Spatial Light Modulator
Advantages of optics over electronics in signal processing derive from the fact that many operations, such as addition, multiplication, correlation, and filtering, can be performed in parallel on two-dimensional data samples. However, this advantage is attainable only if information can be input/output or processed at sufficient speed and space bandwidth. Although acousto-optic devices have been used to provide impressive throughput, they are inherently one -dimensional and do not possess any information-storage capability beyond the acoustic transit time ((LESSTHEQ)50 (mu)s). Hence, a high-resolution high-speed two-dimensional transducer (or spatial light modulator, SLM) with real -time update capability is required. Unfortunately, none of the existing SLMs perform well enough to fully utilize the inherent speed and parallelism of the optics. This dissertation addresses the development of an SLM that has the potential to meet most of the performance requirements of advanced optical information-processing applications--the photoemitter membrane light modulator (PEMLM). At the heart of the PEMLM is a microchannel plate (MCP) with a flexible membrane covering each pore. In operation, the write image incident on a photocathode, which is placed on the input side of the MCP, creates an electron image. This electron image is then amplified by the MCP and deposited onto the membrane array. The membrane elements, which are electrically and mechanically isolated from each other, are deflected by the induced electrostatic forces. These deflections represent the stored information. Readout of stored information is accomplished by sensing the phase changes induced in an optical-readout beam reflected from the deformed membrane array. A sandwich -type electrostatic grid structure positioned between the MCP and membrane greatly enhances the versatility of the PEMLM by facilitating the use of secondary emission for active electron removal and various intrinsic operations. The theoretical analysis and experimental characterizations performed on prototype devices indicates that PEMLM is capable of higher throughput than most other SLMs, with expected resolutions approaching 50 lp/mm over 10('7) resolution elements and framing rates greater than 1 KHz. MCP gains provides quantum-limited sensitivity. The PEMLM also promises information-storage times of minutes to hours, greater than 2(pi) phase modulation, good image quality, and an option for serial addressing. In addition, the PEMLM can intrinsically perform operations such as intensity thresholding, contrast modification, edge enhancement, binary logic, synchronous detection, and image addition/subtraction.
- Pub Date:
- SIGNAL PROCESSING;
- PHASE MODULATION;
- Physics: Optics