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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 10 — Apr. 1, 2000
  • pp: 1549–1554

Two-dimensional polarization encoding with a phase-only liquid-crystal spatial light modulator

Jeffrey A. Davis, Dylan E. McNamara, Don M. Cottrell, and Tomio Sonehara  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 10, pp. 1549-1554 (2000)

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We show how to two dimensionally encode the polarization state of an incident light beam using a parallel-aligned liquid-crystal spatial light modulator (LCSLM). Each pixel of the LCSLM acts as a voltage-controlled wave plate and can be programmed over a 2π phase range at a wavelength of 514.5 nm. Techniques are reviewed for either rotating the major axis of elliptically polarized light or for converting an input linearly polarized beam into an arbitrary elliptically polarized beam. Experimental results are demonstrated in which we generate various two-dimensional spatial patterns of polarized light. Several potential applications are suggested. We also report an unexpected edge-enhancement effect that might be useful in image processing applications.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(230.6120) Optical devices : Spatial light modulators
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: December 8, 1999
Published: April 1, 2000

Jeffrey A. Davis, Dylan E. McNamara, Don M. Cottrell, and Tomio Sonehara, "Two-dimensional polarization encoding with a phase-only liquid-crystal spatial light modulator," Appl. Opt. 39, 1549-1554 (2000)

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