Optimisation of arbitrary light beam generation with spatial light modulators

Radwell, Neal and Offer, Rachel F and Selyem, Adam and Franke-Arnold, Sonja (2017) Optimisation of arbitrary light beam generation with spatial light modulators. Journal of Optics, 19 (9). 095605. ISSN 2040-8978 (https://doi.org/10.1088/2040-8986/aa7f50)

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Phase only spatial light modulators (SLMs) have become the tool of choice for shaped light generation, allowing the creation of arbitrary amplitude and phase patterns. These patterns are generated using digital holograms and are useful for a wide range of applications as well as for fundamental research. There have been many proposed methods for optimal generation of the digital holograms, all of which perform well under ideal conditions. Here we test a range of these methods under specific experimental constraints, by varying grating period, filter size, hologram resolution, number of phase levels, phase throw and phase nonlinearity. We model beam generation accuracy and efficiency and show that our results are not limited to the specific beam shapes, but should hold for general beam shaping. Our aim is to demonstrate how to optimise and improve the performance of phase-only SLMs for experimentally relevant implementations.