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X FOS 1 275pxWe supply liquid crystal based Fast Optical Shutter (FOS) devices from LC-Tec.


The FOS series is a range of polariser-based nematic liquid crystal optical shutters that control the light transmittance by an externally applied drive voltage. Compared to conventional mechanical shutters, LC shutters are completely vibration-free and contain no moving parts.


Other advantages that can be achieved when using LC-Tec's products are:


  • Fast switching
  • High contrast
  • Low power consumption
  • Large design freedom
  • Miniaturised & Ruggedised


The shutter consists of a polarisation modulator in the form of a single or two LC cells positioned between crossed linear polarisers. Applying the drive voltage reorients the birefringent LC molecules, changing the phase retardation of light passing through the LC cell and the transmittance of light passing through the full shutter structure. Analogue gray-scale operation between fully open and closed states is achieved by voltage amplitude modulation. In order to meet a wide range of requirements in multiple applications, a series of standard FOS models possessing different electro-optical properties are offered in a number of standard sizes, all available with short lead times.


  • FOS - General purpose optical shutter for visible wavelength
  • FOS-ETR - Extended temperature range FOS, -40°C to +100°C storage and operation
  • X-FOS(G2) - Extra-fast 2nd generation FOS
  • X-FOS(G2)-CE - Contrast-enhanced Extra-fast 2nd generation FOS (≥120,000:1)
  • PolarSpeed© - Ultra-fast symmetrical switching FOS
  • FOS-NIR - Broadband visible & NIR (up to 2000nm) FOS 


Most FOS models are supplied with an AR-coating on the outer surface of the polarisers but for demanding optical applications can also be supplied with an optical quality, high-efficiency AR cover glass laminated to both sides. This configuration minimizes surface reflection, beam deviation, and wavefront aberration.


The FOS, X-FOS(G2), and PolarSpeed®-S models can also be offered as polarisation modulators & rotators, enabling switching between two output polarization states, for example between linear-linear or left- and right-handed circular polarization


LC-Tec also offer a standard controller. The LCC-230 is a flexible, full-featured liquid crystal controller. The LCC-230 incorporates two independent LC channels, each with 30VRMS of range and fully short-circuit protected. The controller is operated by the LCDriver2 application via a full-speed USB 2.0 compliant interface. LCDriver2 permits dynamic editing of programs up to 96 lines in length. Three trigger modes (internal, line, program) determine how program lines are executed. Up to nine programs may also be pre-stored on the LCC-230 for stand-alone operation.


PDF icon Fast Optical Shutter overview
PDF icon FOS - Standard
PDF icon FOS-ETR - Extended Temperature Range
PDF icon X-FOS(G2) - Extra-Fast 2nd Generation
PDF icon X-FOS(G2)-CE - Extra-Fast 2nd Generation Contrast Enhanced
PDF icon PolarSpeed©-S - Ultra-Fast Symmetrical Switching
PDF icon FOS-NIR(1100HT) - Visible & NIR (to 2000nm)
PDF icon LCC-230 LC-FOS controller manual

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