Abstract

We present and discuss opportunities opened up by a new generation of beam shaping optical elements that combine capabilities of digital spatial light polarization converters and diffractive properties of thin liquid crystalline films with patterned orientation of anisotropy axis (diffractive wave plates). Several functions of the new generation beam shapers are demonstrated, among them converting a laser beam of a Gaussian profile into a ring profile in the far field, a flattop profile, and into complex images. We also describe electrically controlled beam shaping optical elements which can be turned off and on within milliseconds by applying a low external voltage. Optical, morphological, and electro-optical properties of the components are characterized.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
» Visualization 1       Electrically controlled beam shaper.

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