In this paper, we report a three orders-of-magnitude increase in the speed of a space-charge-controlled KTN beam deflector achieved by eliminating the electric field-induced phase transition (EFIPT) in a nanodisordered KTN crystal. Previously, to maximize the electro-optic effect, a KTN beam deflector was operated at a temperature slightly above the Curie temperature. The electric field could cause the KTN to undergo a phase transition from the paraelectric phase to the ferroelectric phase at this temperature, which causes the deflector to operate in the linear electro-optic regime. Since the deflection angle of the deflector is proportional to the space charge distribution but not the magnitude of the applied electric field, the scanning speed of the beam deflector is limited by the electron mobility within the KTN crystal. To overcome this speed limitation caused by the EFIPT, we propose to operate the deflector at a temperature above the critical end point. This results in a significant increase in the scanning speed from the microsecond to nanosecond regime, which represents a major technological advance in the field of fast speed beam scanners. This can be highly beneficial for many applications including high-speed imaging, broadband optical communications, and ultrafast laser display and printing.
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