Vortex-free phase profiles for uniform patterning with computer-generated holography

Opt Express. 2017 May 29;25(11):12640-12652. doi: 10.1364/OE.25.012640.


Computer-generated holography enables efficient light pattern generation through phase-only wavefront modulation. While perfect patterning usually requires control over both phase and amplitude, iterative Fourier transform algorithms (IFTA) can achieve phase-only approximations which maximize light efficiency at the cost of uniformity. The phase being unconstrained in the output plane, it can vary abruptly in some regions leading to destructive interferences. Among such structures phase vortices are the most common. Here we demonstrate theoretically, numerically and experimentally, a novel approach for eliminating phase vortices by spatially filtering the phase input to the IFTA, combining it with phase-based complex amplitude control at the spatial light modulator (SLM) plane to generate smooth shapes. The experimental implementation is achieved performing complex amplitude modulation with a phase-only SLM. This proposed experimental scheme offers a continuous and centered field of excitation. Lastly, we characterize achievable trade-offs between pattern uniformity, diffraction efficiency, and axial confinement.