Programmable spectral phase modulation of femtosecond pulses by use of a nonpixelated spatial light modulator is reported. This light valve, based on the optical addressing of a continuous layer of liquid crystal, allows the operation of spectral phase modulation when optical frequency components are spatially dispersed within a grating-and-lenses pulse-shaping apparatus. Characterization and feedback control of this device were determined by use of spectral interferometry. Demonstrations of the capabilities of this device are given in the spectral and the temporal domains, and recompression of chirped pulses was performed.
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