Abstract

We report the observation of nematic director distortions around the diffracting element of a liquid-crystal point-diffraction interferometer. The observed director field distortions are similar to those reported in the literature for other liquid-crystal guest–host systems. We show how the alignment distortion changes as a function of the voltage applied to the liquid-crystal cell, leading to an observed phase-shift error. Tailoring of surface anchoring conditions and judicious choice of phase-shift algorithm can improve device accuracy.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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