Reflection-type polarization holograms with phase-conjugated readout are very useful for low-light recording with bacteriorhodopsin (BR) films. The dependence of reflection-type holograms with parallel and orthogonal recording beams on their intensity ratio (1:1–1:20) was investigated. It was found that for orthogonally polarized beams the phase-conjugated signal depends significantly less on the beam intensity ratio than predicted by coupled-wave theory. This finding is of particular relevance for recording of very low object-beam intensities with BR films, e.g., in interferometry, where signals with a high signal-to-noise ratio, owing to the different polarizations of the scattered light and the signal, and with low dependence of the diffraction efficiency on the ratio between the reference and object-beam intensities are obtained. With this asymmetric recording process, holograms were recorded successfully in BR films with a good signal-to-noise ratio at exposures (from the object side) as low as . These exposures are in the range of those typically used for silver halide films.
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