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Conoscopy, originally proposed and used by Maugin for examination of the state of liquid-crystal alignment (Ch. Maugin: "Sur les cristaux liquides de Lehmann", Bull. Soc. Fran. Min. 34(1911)71) has been used in every LCD-laboratory in the late seventies and throughout the eighties for measurement and evaluation of the optical properties of LCDs and for measurement of LCD-contrast.
Even though application of conoscopy to measurement of the contrast of LCDs is no longer proteceted by a European patent in Germany (European Patent 0 286 529 based on the priority of the French patent FR 870 4944, see the ruling of the BGH) there is still some discussion about the relation of conoscopy and optical Fourier transformation. Some people even claim that optical Fourier transformation is the basis of conoscopy, but this opinion is probably rather based on commercial reasons than on technical arguments.
The material brought together here is supposed to inform you about the basics of conoscopy, its application to measurement and evaluation of various LCD-characteristics and on the similarities and differences between conoscopy and optical Fourier transformation.
Input, critics, comments and remarks are welcome.
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Michael E. Becker - Marie-Alexandra-Str. 44 - D-76135 Karlsruhe - Germany