Abstract

Silver halide sensitized gelatin (SHSG) holograms are similar to holograms recorded in dichromated gelatin (DCG), the main recording material for holographic optical elements (HOEs). The drawback of DCG is its low energetic sensitivity and limited spectral response. Silver halide materials can be processed in such a way that the final hologram will have properties like a DCG hologram. Recently this technique has become more interesting since the introduction of new ultra-fine-grain silver halide (AgHal) emulsions. In particular, high spatial-frequency fringes associated with HOEs of the reflection type are difficult to construct when SHSG processing methods are employed. Therefore an optimized processing technique for reflection HOEs recorded in the new AgHal materials is introduced. Diffraction efficiencies over 90% can be obtained repeatably for reflection diffraction gratings. Understanding the importance of a selective hardening process has made it possible to obtain results similar to conventional DCG processing. The main advantage of the SHSG process is that high-sensitivity recording can be performed with laser wavelengths anywhere within the visible spectrum. This simplifies the manufacturing of high-quality, large-format HOEs, also including high-quality display holograms of the reflection type in both monochrome and full color.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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