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Journal of the Optical Society of America B


We have performed a detailed comparison of the predictions of coupled-wave theories of isotropic and anisotropic volume gratings. It is shown that material birefringence can dramatically modify the diffractive properties of volume gratings. The predictions of the coupled-wave theories have also been compared with the diffractive properties of volume gratings fabricated with polymer-dispersed liquid crystals. It is shown that a coupled-wave theory that includes the effects of the birefringence of the liquid crystal must be used to explain the diffraction properties of these highly anisotropic gratings. Information can be obtained about the alignment of the liquid crystal within the composite gratings from comparisons of theory and experiment.


© 2002 Optical Society of America

This paper was published in Journal of the Optical Society of America B and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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