A holographic storage arrangement with common-path optics is likely to suffer from degradation of the optical signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) owing to scattering of the reference beam. Instead of the conventional method of spatial separation between the reference beam and a reconstruction beam, adoption of a combined spatial and polarization separation is proposed. To achieve polarization separation by using a photopolymer as the recording material, a media structure including retardation films and a reflection layer is proposed such that the polarization states of the two beams are the same inside the material but orthogonal outside. Preliminary experiments to show the feasibility of this idea for improving optical SNR are also demonstrated.
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Allen Pu and Demetri Psaltis
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