We present what is to our knowledge a new type of diffractive optical element (DOE), the computer-generated stratified diffractive optical element (SDOE), a hybridization of thin computer-generated DOEs and volume holograms. A model and several algorithms for calculating computer-generated SDOEs are given. Simulations and experimental results are presented that exhibit the properties of computer-generated SDOEs: the strong angular and wavelength selectivity of SDOEs makes it possible to store multiple pages in a computer-generated SDOE, which can be read out separately (multiplexing). The reconstruction of an optimized SDOE has a higher quality than the reconstruction of optimized one-layer DOEs. SDOEs can be calculated to have only one diffraction order.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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