Abstract

We report on an experimental realization of polarization-holographic optical elements (PHOEs) for laser beam shaping. The PHOEs were written into an azobenzene polymer layer by illumination with linearly polarized, focused light with spatially varying orientation. We propose a noniterative design method for the calculation of PHOEs that transform laser beams into arbitrary rotationally symmetric or separable intensity distributions such as flattop or ring profiles. The experimentally observed intensity distributions are compared with those predicted by numerical simulations based on the Fresnel diffraction approximation. Diffraction efficiencies up to 79% were determined experimentally.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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