Abstract

We demonstrate that recording thick holographic phase gratings in photorefractive polymers can lead not only to very efficient Bragg diffraction but also to rather strong diffraction into non-Bragg orders. We show that this effect has features drastically different from those of Raman–Nath diffraction on thin gratings. We compare the experimental results with a model based on the theory of dynamic self-diffraction in a photorefractive medium. Applications of this effect in devices for optical image processing are proposed.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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