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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Experimental modules covering imaging, diffraction, Fourier optics and polarization based on a liquid-crystal cell SLM

Paper Abstract

In close collaboration with four German universities, we have developed tutorials for experiments based on a transmissive liquid-crystal spatial light modulator (SLM). The experimental tutorials are grouped in six project modules, which cover a wide range of phenomena and have different levels of difficulty. At a basic level, students can investigate the SLM in its probably most well-known application as an image-generating element in a simple optical projector setup. At more advanced levels, the application as an adaptive optical element can be investigated in three different projects covering wave-optical phenomena. The fields covered include Fourier Optics using the SLM as a dynamic fan-out beam-splitter or kinoform, Computer-Generated Holography and basic Interferometry. For the support of these projects, software was developed which permits the generation of adaptive optical structures by the student with a user-friendly interface, while the underlying algorithms are explained in the theoretical tutorial. The modulation of the light by the twisted-neumatic liquid crystal cells of the SLM can be investigated in the two most advanced projects. In the first one, the parameters of the cell and the components of its Jones matrix can be derived from transmission measurements with rotatable polarizers at a number of different wavelengths. This project gives insight to the Jones matrix calculus at the level required for the analysis. In the second one, the complex-valued transmission of the SLM is determined by measuring the diffraction efficiency of dynamically addressed Ronchi gratings.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 June 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9666, 11th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 96660Q (5 June 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.2207974
Show Author Affiliations
Andreas Hermerschmidt, Holoeye Photonics AG (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9666:
11th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
K. Alan Shore, Editor(s)

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