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Theory and applications of holography

Volume and recording

medium for holograms

DiffractionGrating. When there is a
need to separate light of different
wavelengths with high resolution,
then a diffractiongratingis most
often the tool of choice.

The fringes formed in the recording
medium are always oriented locally to
bisect the angle between the two
interfering waves within the medium.
Remember that the angle between two
waves within the recording medium is
different than the angle between them
external to that medium, due to the
generally higher refractive index of the
recording medium.

Diffraction Efficiency-coupled wave

To find the efficiencies, various types of
wavelength used for reconstruction. However
the most widely used method is the coupled
mode theory
The general geometry is illustrated in Fig. In
this general case, the grating within the
emulsion is tilted at angle with respect to the
normal to the surface of the recording medium
and has grating period A = 2.Pi/lambda.
The reconstruction wave is incident at angle
to that same normal.

Consider scalar wave equation

It is valid in a source free region for
monochrome light.
The wave number in the most
general case is complex-valued, k =
(2.Pn/o) + j, where is the
absorption constant and o, is the
vacuum wavelength

The refractive index n and the

absorption constant within the
grating are assumed to vary in
sinusoidal fashions according to

r and K are grating vector and the

hologram is assumed to be parallel
to the (x,y) plane and to be of
thickness d in the z dimension.

First it is assumed that the hologram

is thick enough that only two waves
need be considered within the
grating. One is the reconstruction or
playback wave Up(r), which is
gradually depleted by diffraction and
absorption, and the other is the firstorder Bragg-matched grating order

the total field within the grating is

composed of a sum of these two waves,
and we accordingly write that field as

assumed that absorption in a distance

of one wavelength is small and that the
variation of the refractive index is small
compared to its mean

It is now possible to expand and

simplify k for use in the wave

B = ko no, and K is the coupling

constant, given by
Brag condition for diffracted wave is

Finally, equating the sum of all terms
multiplying exp[jpr] to zero and
similarly for the sum of all terms
multiplying exp[jr], we
find that R(z) and S(z) must
individually satisfy the following
equations in order for the wave
equation to be satisfied:

Where zeta symbol is called detuning

Note that the quantity in brackets
will be zero when the Bragg condition
is satisfied. Consider the Bragg
matched conditions caused by a
combination of a small mismatch in
the illumination angle = B - A and
a small mismatch in the wavelength
' = - .

Mismatch due to wavelength error grows as
the grating period A shrinks, and therefore
wavelength selectivity will be maximum for
object and reference beams, which produce a
reflection hologram.
Selectivity to angular mismatch can be shown
to be maximum when the reference and
object beams are separated by an angle of 90
For a transmission grating, this implies that
= 0 degree while for a reflection grating, =

Transmission Grating:
Phase transmission grating
For pure phase grating 0 = 1 =0
Diffraction efficiency is increases initially with
increasing thickness of grating reaches to
maximum of 100%, falls to zero, rise to 100%
as = pi/2

Amplitude transmission grating

For an unslanted amplitude grating, the index
modulation n1=0 and 1 = non-zero
Diffraction efficiency will be max if 1 = 0

Reflection Grating:
Phase Reflection grating
For pure phase grating 0 = 1 =0
Diffraction efficiency asymptotically
approaches 100% as the parameter

Amplitude Reflection grating

In this case index modulation n1=0 and
diffraction caused by variations 1 of the
absorption coefficient
The parameter increasing absorption of
the grating and resulting decrease of its


Recording materials
Different recording materials have
been used for holography and some
important recording materials
discussed below:

Silver halide emulsions

The most widely used recording
materials for holograms are certainly
those based on silver halide
photographic technology.
This technique provides the high
sensitivity of photographic materials
with the high diffraction efficiency,
low scattering and high light-stability

In this technique, the exposed
photographic emulsion is developed in
a metol-hydroquinone developer and
then bleached in a bath containing
During the bleaching process, the
developed silver is oxidized to Ag,
while the Cr6 (chromium) ions in the
bleach are reduced to Cr3 ions.

The emulsion is then fixed to remove
the unexposed silver halide, washed,
dehydrated with isopropanol.
With this technique it is possible to
obtain diffraction efficiencies up to
gratings and 55 percent with
reflection grating.

Dichromated gelatin
Dichromated gelatin films are widely used to
record extremely efficient volume phase
holograms, particularly of the reflection type.
Diffraction efficiencies up to 90%.
A gelatin film containing a small amount of a
dichromate, such as (NH4)2Cr207, is found
to harden under exposure to light. The
process is a form of molecular crosslinking
The methods used for preparing such plates
and developing them are quite complex and
must be performed with great care.

Recording using dichromated gelatin
films is carried out typically at 488
nm or 514.5 nm wavelengths in the
blue and green, respectively
Emulsion thickness may be of the
order of 15 m, and exposures
required are of the order of 50 to 100
mJ/cm^2, very high exposure indeed.

In positive photoresists, such as
Shipley AZ-1350, the areas exposed
to light become soluble and are
washed away during development to
produce a relief image.
The photoresist is coated on a glass
substrate by spinning to form a layer
12m thick.

Holograms are recorded with a HeCd
laser at a wavelength of 442 nm.
The exposed plate is processed in AZ303 developer diluted with four parts of
distilled water.
Holograms recorded on a photoresist
can be replicated, using a thermoplastic.
Multiple copies of holographic optical
elements can also be made.

Several organic materials can be
activated by a photosensitizer to produce
refractive index changes, due to photo
polymerization, when exposed to light.
A commercial photopolymer is also
available coated on a polyester film base
that can be used to produce volume
phase holograms with high diffraction

Photopolymer films provide a recording
medium with two major virtues:
(1) the holograms obtained are primarily
phase holograms, and
(2) the films can be coated with
considerable thickness (as thick as 8 mm).
The thick phase holograms that result can
have excellent efficiency.
Changes of refractive index of 0.2% to
0.5% are possible

Photorefractive crystals
A number of crystals, including lithium
niobate (LiNb03), barium titanate (BaTi03),
tantalumniobate (KTN), and strontium barium
nitrate (SBN), exhibit a combination of
sensitivity to light and an electro-optic effect.
This combined effect has come to be known
as the photorefractive effect, and the
materials that exhibit it are known as
photorefractives or photorefractive materials.

When a photorefractive crystal is exposed to a
spatially varying light pattern, electrons are
liberated in the illuminated areas. These
electrons migrate to adjacent dark regions and
are trapped there.
The spatially varying electric field produced by
this space-charge pattern modulates the
refractive index through the electro-optic effect,
producing the equivalent of a phase grating.
The space charge pattern can be erased by
uniformly illuminating the crystal, after which
another recording can be made.