A technique is proposed theoretically and verified experimentally to eliminate a zero-order beam caused by a pixelated phase-only spatial light modulator (SLM) for holographic projection. The formulas for determination of the optical field in the Fourier plane are deduced, and the influence of the pixelated structure of a SLM on the intensity of the zero-order beam is numerically investigated. Two currently existing techniques are studied and a new one is presented. These three techniques are used separately to eliminate the zero-order interruption, and the optical performances of the reconstructed patterns are compared. The new technique results in higher reconstruction quality and diffraction efficiency. A short animated movie is illuminated for holographic projection display. The experimental results show that the zero-order beam can be efficiently eliminated by the new technique. It is believed that this technique can be used in various optical systems that are based on pixelated phase-only SLMs, such as holographic optical tweezers and optical testing systems.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
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