Abstract

Parallel-aligned (PA) liquid-crystal on silicon (LCoS) microdisplays are especially appealing in a wide range of spatial light modulation applications since they enable phase-only operation. Recently we proposed a novel polarimetric method, based on Stokes polarimetry, enabling the characterization of their linear retardance and the magnitude of their associated phase fluctuations or flicker, exhibited by many LCoS devices. In this work we apply the calibrated values obtained with this technique to show their capability to predict the performance of spatially varying phase multilevel elements displayed onto the PA–LCoS device. Specifically we address a series of multilevel phase blazed gratings. We analyze both their average diffraction efficiency (“static” analysis) and its associated time fluctuation (“dynamic” analysis). Two different electrical configuration files with different degrees of flicker are applied in order to evaluate the actual influence of flicker on the expected performance of the diffractive optical elements addressed. We obtain a good agreement between simulation and experiment, thus demonstrating the predictive capability of the calibration provided by the average Stokes polarimetric technique. Additionally, it is obtained that for electrical configurations with less than 30° amplitude for the flicker retardance, they may not influence the performance of the blazed gratings. In general, we demonstrate that the influence of flicker greatly diminishes when the number of quantization levels in the optical element increases.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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