A new methodology describing the effects of aperiodic and multiplexed gratings in volume holographic imaging systems (VHIS) is presented. The aperiodic gratings are treated as an ensemble of localized planar gratings using coupled wave methods in conjunction with sequential and non-sequential ray-tracing techniques to accurately predict volumetric diffraction effects in VHIS. Our approach can be applied to aperiodic, multiplexed gratings and used to theoretically predict the performance of multiplexed volume holographic gratings within a volume hologram for VHIS. We present simulation and experimental results for the aperiodic and multiplexed imaging gratings formed in PQ-PMMA at 488nm and probed with a spherical wave at 633nm. Simulation results based on our approach that can be easily implemented in ray-tracing packages such as Zemax® are confirmed with experiments and show proof of consistency and usefulness of the proposed models.
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