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Spatial light modulators are common optical components found in everything from home theater projectors to cutting-edge laser imaging and optical computing. These components can control various aspects of a light, such as intensity or and phase , pixel by pixel. Most spatial light modulators today rely on mechanical moving parts to achieve this control but that approach results in bulky and slow optical devices. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in collaboration with a team from Washington University, have developed a simple spatial light modulator made from gold electrodes covered by a thin film of electro-optical material that changes its optical properties in response to electric signals.

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