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Creation of vector beams from a polarization diffraction grating using a programmable liquid crystal spatial light modulator and a q-plate
Badham, Katherine Emily
Davis, Jeffrey AWeber, FridolinBlomgren, Peter
xiii, 88 pages : illustrations (some color).
This thesis presents the ability of complete polarization control of light to create a polarization diffraction grating (PDG). This system has the ability to create diffracted light with each order having a separate high-order polarization state in one location on the optical axis. First, an external Excel program is used to create a grating phase profile from userspecified target diffraction orders. High-order vector beams in this PDG are created using a combination of two devices — a liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM) manufactured by Seiko Epson, and a tunable q-plate from Citizen Holdings Co. The transmissive SLM is positioned in an optical setup with a reflective architecture allowing control over both the horizontal and vertical components of the laser beam. The SLM has its LC director oriented vertically only affecting the vertically polarized state, however, the optical setup allows modulation of both vertical and horizontal components by the use of a quarter-wave plate (QWP) and a mirror to rotate the polarizations 90 degrees. Each half of the SLM is encoded with an anisotropic phase-only diffraction grating which are superimposed to create a select number of orders with the desired polarization states and equally distributed intensity. The technique of polarimetry is used to confirm the polarization state of each diffraction order. The q-plate is an inhomogeneous birefringent waveplate which has the ability to convert zero-order vector beams into first-order vector beams. The physical placement of this device into the system converts the orders with zero-order polarization states to first-order polarization states. The light vector patterns of each diffraction order confirm which first-order polarization state of is produced. A specially made PDG sextuplicator is encoded onto the SLM to generate six diffraction orders with separate states of polarization.
San Diego State University
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2016
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