First a transmission-type optical element, which modulates the phase of the incident wave field in a 1-D manner, is proposed, then several such elements are combined in a cascade to construct an adaptive transmission-type 2-D phase modulator. The element consists of a deformable glass plate made by bonding an appropriately shaped PVDF piezoelectric film with transparent electrodes to a laminar glass plate, a plane glass plate, and a medium immersed between the two plates. The construction of the modulator, complementary methods to improve the characteristics, several basic experimental results, and its use to compensate for aberrations in an imaging system are given. The modulator constructed can generate wave fronts whose phase profile is expressed by the functional form ax2 + by2 + cxy.
© 1981 Optical Society of America
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