Abstract

We constructed polarization-selective computer-generated holograms that apply an independent phase profile during readout by horizontal and vertical light polarizations. These elements are composed of two surface-relief-etched birefringent substrates joined face to face. We describe the design methodology for arbitrary birefringent substrate and gap materials. We show how these holograms are fabricated with standard microelectronics technology and discuss the effects of etching and alignment errors on performance. We demonstrated a diffraction efficiency of 60% with a polarization contrast ratio of >100:1 using a multilevel phase hologram made from two birefringent lithium niobate substrates. We also showed that a single-layer SiO2 thin-film antireflection coating on all surfaces can reduce reflections from the high-index substrates without significant effect on hologram performance. We also consider some possible applications of this technology and demonstrate experimentally a dual focal-length lens and a self-interconnecting binary 2 × 2 polarization switch.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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