Abstract

We describe a characterization method based on diffraction for obtaining the phase response of spatial light modulators (SLMs), which in general exhibit both amplitude and phase modulation. Compared with the conventional interferometer-based approach, the method is characterized by a simple setup that enables in situ measurements, allows for substantial mechanical vibration, and permits the use of a light source with a fairly low temporal coherence. The phase determination is possible even for a SLM with a full amplitude modulation depth, i.e., even if there are nulls in the amplitude transmission characteristic of the SLM. The method successfully determines phase modulation values in the full 2π rad range with high accuracy. The experimental work includes comparisons with interferometer measurements as well as a SLM characterization with a light-emitting diode (LED).

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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