Spatial light modulation is a technology with a demonstrated wide range of applications, especially in optical systems. Among the various spatial light modulator (SLM) technologies, e.g., liquid crystal (LC), magneto-optic, deformable mirror, multiple quantum well, and acoustic-optic Bragg cells, the ones based on liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) have been gaining importance and relevance in a plethora of optical contexts, namely, in telecom, metrology, optical storage, and microdisplays. Their implementation in telecom has enabled the development of high-capacity optical components in system functionalities as multiplexing/demultiplexing, switching and optical signal processing. This technology combines the unique light-modulating properties of LC with the high-performance silicon complementary metal oxide semiconductor properties. Different types of modulation, i.e., phase, amplitude or combination of the two, can be achieved. In this book chapter, we address the most relevant applications of phase-only LCoS SLM for optical telecom purposes and the employment of SLM technology in photonic integrated circuits (PICs) (e.g., field-programmable silicon photonic (SiP) circuits and integrated SLM application to create versatile reconfigurable elements). Furthermore, a new SLM-based flexible coupling platform with applications in spatial division multiplexing (SDM) systems (e.g., to efficiently excite different cores in MCF) and characterization/testing of photonic integrated processors will be described.
Part of the book: Telecommunication Systems