Masakatsu Higa has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Abstract: A liquid crystal optical device of this invention includes one substrate having a substrate surface on which one electrode is formed, the other substrate having a substrate surface on which the other electrode is formed, a first aligning film covering one electrode of one substrate and at least a portion of the substrate surface, a second aligning film covering the other electrode of the other substrate and at least a portion of the substrate surface, a dielectric layer disposed between at least one of the first and second aligning films and the electrode corresponding thereto, a sealing member for bonding the one substrate and the other substrate to each other with a predetermined gap therebetween to oppose the substrate surfaces of the one and the other substrates on which the electrodes are formed, and sealing the gap, and a ferroelectric liquid crystal material sealed in the gap surrounded by one and the other substrates disposed oppositely and the sealing member.
Abstract: A liquid crystal shutter comprising a light source, a liquid crystal element including a pair of substrates and liquid crystal interposed between the substrates, a pair of polarizing plates formed on the outer surfaces of the substrates, and a heater for heating the liquid crystal element. At least one electrode is formed on the inner surface of either substrate, and an aligning orientating layer is formed on the electrode and the inner surface of the substrate. The polarizing axis of at least one of the polarizing plates extends either parallel or at right angles to the direction of the optical axis of a substrate having an optical anisotropy caused by a temperature gradient created over the liquid crystal element in a direction toward a periphery from a center of the liquid crystal element heated by the heater, and crossing at a certain degree with an arrangement direction of liquid crystal molecules oriented by the aligning orienting layer.
Abstract: An ON electric field for turning on (allowing light transmission) a liquid crystal optical device and an OFF electric field for turning off (shielding light) the liquid crystal optical device are selectively applied to a liquid crystal material of the liquid crystal optical device. The ON electric field is applied so as to obliquely align liquid crystal molecules with respect to substrates constituting the liquid crystal optical device, thereby obtaining an ON state. The ON electric field has an electric field for driving the liquid crystal molecules and a non-electric field for generating a state wherein no electric field is applied to the liquid crystal molecules. The OFF electric field has an electric field for homeotropically aligning the liquid crystal molecules with respect to the substrates.