Over the past 25 years, Boulder Nonlinear Systems has distinguished itself as a research organization, transitioning liquid crystal innovations into practical devices and systems.

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Our dedicated team of scientists and engineers has varied, multi-disciplinary backgrounds, facilitating the development of novel liquid crystal devices and associated electronics, hardware, software and opto-mechanical components, resulting in a complete system solution. BNS specializes in the control and manipulation of optical energy. Our research has centered on the development of liquid crystal (LC) based devices primarily for military and research applications. Liquid crystals are characterized by their ability to manipulate light and their variable response to an electric field. The electro-optic response of LC materials facilitates the development of programmable optical devices –with no moving parts. LC devices can be used to modulate visible white light, coherent laser light – even infrared radiation. LC components are lightweight, compact, low-power and cost-effective. LC materials can produce phase, amplitude, spectral or polarization modulation of light.



With support from the DoD, NASA, NSF and NIH through the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, as well as sub-contracts from prime defense contractors, BNS has developed an entire suite of high-performance liquid crystal on silicon spatial light modulators. These novel devices have not only supported our own optical processing engines, but have enabled numerous government and academic researchers in their varied pursuits.