Understanding the jargon of LCOS Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs)

Do you know your Phase Ripple from your Phase level?

Written by our SLM specialist, Peter Collins, this blog post is aimed to help you understand the fundamentals for specifying a new SLM and will focus mainly on Parallel Aligned Nematic devices. Download the full PDF below.

We will cover the following topics: 

  • How does an LCOS SLM work?
    • This section details exactly how an SLM works.
  • Typical optical set-ups
    • This section provides optical configurations when using an SLM in Phase, Amplitude, Twyman-Green Interferometer and in a 4f configuration for microscopy
  • In-depth review of the specifications to consider when purchasing an SLM
    • This section goes into detail about the following specifications: 
      • ​Resolution:
        • Pixel size pitch and the grating equation
        • LUT Generation and electronic/optical phase levels
      • Diffraction efficiency:
        • Zero and 1st Order
        • Reflectivity and losses
        • Blazed Gratings
        • Computer-Generated Hologram (CGH)
      • Frame Rate:
        • LC Response time
        • Transfer Time
        • Refresh Time
      • Precision:
        • Spatially Varying phase response
        • Time fluctuations/Phase flicker
      • Damage Mechanisms and limitations
  • Why we think Meadowlark Optics SLM’s are the best available in the market today
    • This section goes into detail on the following considerations: 
      • High Voltage Backplanes = Fastest Response Times
      • Highest Phase Stability Commercially Available
      • Low Inter-pixel Cross Talk
      • Broad Wavelength Capabilities
      • Analogue is Better
      • High Bit Depth Controllers