Phase-only spatial light modulation is used to shape light in microscopy, micromanipulation, microfabrication and biophotonics. One application of phase modulation is the creation of dynamic optical traps for directly controlling the motion of microscopic particles by using programmable spatial light modulators (SLMs). Similarly, light can be phase-sculpted to match and target biological material or trigger localized biochemical reactions. Despite its versatility, phase-only spatial light modulation requires pricey SLMs, which limit its use in photonics research. However, consumer projectors are much more affordable. Researchers have started to explore using projectors based on liquid-crystal-onsilicon (LCoS) as binary-only phase modulators by replacing the incoherent light source with a laser of appropriate polarization.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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