Newly discovered dimensional effects of electrodes on liquid crystal THz phase shifters enable novel switching between in-plane and out-of-plane
To unveil a novel switching mechanism in liquid crystal (LC)-based phase shifters for the THz range, we analyse how the dimensions of the electrode structures enable a new type of switching, namely, THz in-plane and THz out-of-plane (TIP–TOP) switching. Specifically, we determine how varying these electrode dimensions influences the LC in-plane states with the corresponding phase shifts by calculating these effects in virtual devices. Interestingly, we found that significant dimensional effects of the in-plane electrode structures statically and dynamically influence the phase shift and response time of LC switching. Analysing the electromagnetic fields in the TIP–TOP cell clearly reveals that these dimensional effects are due to changes in the electric field strengths caused by lateral bus-line electrodes that were originally assumed not to contribute to the switching. Further, we discover that the ultimate dimensional effect produces a novel type of LC switching, which results in hexadirectional switching between the initial, intrinsic in-plane, and out-of-plane reorientations of the LCs, suggesting a broader range of phase shifts while maintaining a rapid response.