Volume Phase Masks in Photo-Thermo-Refractive Glass
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ORLANDO
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In many applications such as beam shaping, mode conversion, and phase encoding, it is necessary to alter the spatial phase profile of a beam via a phase mask. Conventional techniques to accomplish this either involve surface relief profiling in thin films such as PMMA or refractive index modulation in bulk photorefractive crystals such as lithium niobate. These materials have been used extensively for the past several decades and perform admirably in low power conditions. However, in high power systems these materials will be destroyed, requiring a new means of producing phase masks. In this dissertation a method for producing robust phase masks in the bulk of photo-thermo-refractive glass is developed and successfully demonstrated.