Abstract

We characterize the optical modulation properties of a polyvinyl alcohol∕acrylamide (PVA∕AA) photopolymer at the lowest end of recorded spatial frequencies. To achieve this goal we have constructed a double beam interferometer in combination with the setup to expose the recording material. This is a novel approach since usually holographic recording materials are only characterized at high spatial frequencies. Some benefits are provided by the approach we propose: a direct calculation of the properties of the material is possible, and on the other hand additional information can be obtained since the results are not influenced by diffusionprocesses. Furthermore, this characterization is needed to optimize the PVA∕AA photopolymers for another range of applications, such as recording of diffractive optical elements, where very low spatial frequencies are recorded. Different PVA∕AA compositions and layer thicknesses have been analyzed. We have found that, depending on the layer characteristics, we can achieve high values of the phase-shift modulation depth and enhance the sensitivity of the material.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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