Based on a modified coupled wave theory, the pulse shaping properties of volume holographic gratings (VHGs) in anisotropic media VHGs are studied systematically. Taking photorefractive crystals as an example, the combined effect that the grating parameters, the dispersion and optical anisotropy of the crystal, the pulse width, and the polarization state of the input ultrashort pulsed beam (UPB) have on the pulse shaping properties are considered when the input UPB with arbitrary polarization state propagates through the VHG. Under the combined effect, the diffraction bandwidth, pulse profiles of the diffracted and transmitted pulsed beams, and the total diffraction efficiency are shown. The studies indicate that the properties of the shaping of the o and e components of the input UPB in the crystal are greatly different; this difference can be used for pulse shaping applications.
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