Multilevel anisotropic diffractive optical elements (DOEs), in which digitized spatial patterns of optical birefringence are fabricated by means of stepping photoalignment technique, has been demonstrated using photo-cross-linkable polymer liquid crystals (PCLCs). The polarization state of incident light is converted into a different polarization state by diffracting light in the practical, i.e., transparent in visible region and thermally stable, multilevel anisotropic DOEs, and both polarization azimuth and ellipticity can be widely controlled by their birefringence patterns. Theoretical considerations for such polarization conversion were also performed using the Jones calculus and diffraction theory and well-explained experimental observations.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 22, 2014
Revised Manuscript: March 13, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: March 13, 2014
Published: April 14, 2014
Kohei Noda, Kotaro Kawai, Tomoyuki Sasaki, Nobuhiro Kawatsuki, and Hiroshi Ono, "Multilevel anisotropic diffractive optical elements fabricated by means of stepping photo-alignment technique using photo-cross-linkable polymer liquid crystals," Appl. Opt. 53, 2556-2561 (2014)