Concept for the fast modulation of light in amplitude and phase using analog tilt-mirror arrays
The full complex, spatial modulation of light at high frame rates is essential for a variety of applications. In particular, emerging techniques applied to scattering media, such as Digital Optical Phase Conjugation and Wavefront Shaping, request challenging performance parameters. They refer to imaging tasks inside biological media, whose characteristics concerning the transmission and reflection of scattered light may change over time within milliseconds. Thus, these methods call for frame rates in the kilohertz range. Existing solutions typically over frame rate capabilities below 100 Hz, since they rely on liquid crystal spatial light modulators (SLMs). We propose a diffractive MEMS optical system for this application range. It relies on an analog, tilt-type micro mirror array (MMA) based on an established SLM technology, where the standard application is grayscale amplitude control. The new MMA system design allows the phase manipulation at high-speed as well. The article studies properties of the appropriate optical setup by simulating the propagation of the light. Relevant test patterns and sensitivity parameters of the system will be analyzed. Our results illustrate the main opportunities of the concept with particular focus on the tilt mirror technology. They indicate a promising path to realize the complex light modulation at frame rates above 1 kHz and resolutions well beyond 10,000 complex pixels.