Short-term Stability of Liquid Crystal Wavelength Selective Switches

Lumentum produces high-performance optical devices and test equipment for fiber optics communications systems. One such device is the Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS) that is used to switch optical signals between different optical fibers, depending on the wavelength of the light carrying the signal. Although these devices work very well and Lumentum is a leader in the design and production of such devices, their performance is currently somewhat limited by relatively slow fluctuations in the amount of light scattered into the desired optical fiber for a chosen wavelength. The source of these fluctuations is believed to be slow oscillations of the molecules in the liquid crystal that forms the central element in the switch. The aim of this project is to model the dynamics of the liquid crystal molecules so as to determine the source of these oscillations and how they can be reduced by modifying the material properties of the WSS. This will ensure that Lumentum remains at the leading edge of switching technology.

Faculty Supervisor:

Marc Dignam


Parvin Navaeipour






Professional, scientific and technical services


Queen's University


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