Inhomogeneity of intensity profile in techniques with illumination of SLM by laser beams leads to not efficient using of
the SLM capabilities or complexity of algorithms to control these SLM. For example the typical Gaussian intensity
distribution has peak intensity in the centre of a beam, and to prevent damaging the SLM it is necessary to reduce power
of entire laser beam. In laser techniques like Computer Generated Holography (CGH) the not uniform intensity profile
leads to essential increasing the complexity of mathematical models or makes some techniques of digital holography
unrealizable. To overcome these drawbacks it is suggested to apply with SLM the refractive field mapping beam shapers
providing high flexibility in building various optical setups due to their unique features: almost lossless intensity profile
transformation from Gaussian to flattop, saving of the beam consistency, low output beam divergence and flatness of
wavefront, extended depth of field, capability to adapt to real intensity profiles of TEM00 and multimode laser sources.
Applications include CGH, holographic projection processing applications, holographic lithography, optical trapping and
laser illumination in confocal microscopes. With a collimated flattop beam provided by refractive field mappers these
techniques become easier to use, more effective and reliable in operation.
This paper will describe some design basics of refractive beam shapers of the field mapping type, with emphasis on the
features important for applications with SLMs. There will be presented comparative results of applying the refractive
beam shapers in systems of holographic lithography and other techniques.