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A large-aperture direct-view high-speed electro-optic shutter includes an electro-optic polymer material constructed to form a Pockels cell and an integrated photoconducting semiconductor switch. A chromophore-doped polymer material or chromophore copolymer, wherein the chromophore is oriented within the polymer material, exhibits a linear electro-optic effect when an electric field is applied to the device. In one embodiment, the polymer host material comprises one or more of a polycarbonate, amorphous polycarbonate, or polymethylmethacrylate polymer hosts. The optically active chromophore comprising one or more coumarin and coumarin derivatives, stilbene or tolane derivatives is incorporated within the polymer host, forming a guest-host polymer. In another embodiment, the chromophore is chemically bonded to the monomer that forms the polymer, resulting in an optically active copolymer. The electro-optic shutter device is then activated by incident light through the photoconducting semiconductor switch, rendering the Pockels cell to have an optical density of at least 3.0.