Abstract

We report a new self-interferometric technique for visualizing phase patterns that are encoded onto a phase-only liquid-crystal display (LCD). In our approach, the LCD generates both the desired object beam as well as the reference beam. Normally the phase patterns are encoded with a phase depth of 2π radians, and all of the incident energy is diffracted into the first-order beam. However, by reducing this phase depth, we can generate an additional zero-order diffracted beam, which acts as the reference beam. We work at distances such that these two patterns spatially interfere, producing an interference pattern that displays the encoded phase pattern. This approach was used recently to display the phase vortices of helical Ince–Gaussian beams. Here we show additional experimental results and analyze the process.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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