Computer Generated Holography achieves patterned illumination at the sample plane through phase modulation of the laser beam at the objective back aperture. This is obtained by using liquid crystal-based spatial light modulators (LC-SLMs), which modulate the spatial phase of the incident laser beam. A variety of algorithms is employed to calculate the phase modulation masks addressed to the LC-SLM. These algorithms range from simple gratings-and-lenses to generate multiple diffraction-limited spots, to iterative Fourier-transform algorithms capable of generating arbitrary illumination shapes perfectly tailored on the base of the target contour. Applications for holographic light patterning include multi-trap optical tweezers, patterned voltage imaging and optical control of neuronal excitation using uncaging or optogenetics. These past implementations of computer generated holography used binary input profile to generate binary light distribution at the sample plane. Here we demonstrate that using graded input sources, enables generating intensity graded light patterns and extend the range of application of holographic light illumination. At first, we use intensity-graded holograms to compensate for LC-SLM position dependent diffraction efficiency or sample fluorescence inhomogeneity. Finally we show that intensity-graded holography can be used to equalize photo evoked currents from cells expressing different levels of chanelrhodopsin2 (ChR2), one of the most commonly used optogenetics light gated channels, taking into account the non-linear dependence of channel opening on incident light.
Keywords: ChR2 photostimulation; computer generated holography; graded intensity holograms; microscopy; optogenetics.