Comparison of nematic liquid-crystal and DMD based spatial light modulation in complex photonics

Sergey Turtaev, Ivo T. Leite, Kevin J. Mitchell, Miles J. Padgett, David B. Phillips, Tomas Cizmar (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)
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Digital micro-mirror devices (DMDs) have recently emerged as practical spatial light modulators (SLMs) for applications in photonics, primarily due to their modulation rates, which exceed by several orders of magnitude those of the already well-established nematic liquid crystal (LC)-based SLMs. This, however, comes at the expense of limited modulation depth and di raction e ciency. Here we compare the beam-shaping fidelity of both technologies when applied to light control in complex environments, including an aberrated optical system, a highly scattering layer and a multimode optical fibre. We show that, despite their binary amplitude-only modulation, DMDs are capable of higher beam-shaping fidelity compared to LC-SLMs in all considered regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29874-29884
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number24
Early online date15 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2017


  • Spatial light modulators
  • Liquid-crystal devices
  • Optical microelectromechanical devices
  • Active or adaptive optics
  • Fiber optics imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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