This paper presents results obtained with a spatial light modulator (SLM) using a polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal (LC) material to provide dynamic gain equalization (DGE) for wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) networks. We show the benefit of using a nonchannelized approach to adjust some physical parameters such as the ripple and the maximum obtainable attenuation slope for the spectra to be equalized. Particular attention is paid here to polarization dependence that can result from parasitic anisotropic multiple path interferences as well as induced anisotropy due to a planar transverse field when using a free-space SLM structure. In this frame, we demonstrate an original approach using a depolarizing prism that is only appropriate to such choice of material and that mitigates these effects. Finally, material engineering to widen the operating temperature range is also shortly presented in this paper.
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