Programmable liquid crystal waveplate polarization gratings as elements for polarimetric and interference applications
Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, Optica y Tecnología
Electrónica. Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain
2 Department of Physics, San Diego State University, San Diego CA, USA
We review the use of a parallel aligned nematic liquid crystal spatial light modulator as a very useful and flexible device for polarimetric and interferometric applications. The device acts as a programmable pixelated waveplate, and the encoding of a linear grating permits its use as a polarization beam splitter. When a grating with a reduced period is encoded, the diffracted beams are spatially separated and the device can be used for polarimetric analysis. On the contrary when a large period grating is displayed, the beams are not spatially separated, and they are useful to realize a common path interferometric system with polarization sensitivity. The flexibility offered by the programmability of the display allows non-conventional uses, including the analysis of light beams with structured spatial polarizations.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010