A nanoparticle-doped acrylic photopolymer is characterised as a material for holographic recording. The influence of
nanoparticles on the photopolymer dynamic range, dynamics of recording, temporal stability and mechanical stability in
terms of shrinkage has been studied. The dynamics of recording and the temporal stability are investigated by real time
monitoring of the build up of diffraction gratings of spatial frequencies of 200 to 2000 1/mm. The shrinkage has been
characterised by recording slanted transmission gratings and observation of the change in the Bragg angle.
An acrylamide-based photopolymer formulated in the Centre for Industrial and Engineering Optics has been investigated with a view to further optimisation for holographic optical storage. Series of 15 to 30 gratings were angularly multiplexed in a volume of the photopolymer layers with different thickness at a spatial frequency of 1500 lines/mm. Since the photopolymer is a saturable material, an exposure scheduling method was used to exploit the entire dynamic range of the material and allow equal strength gratings to be recorded. From this investigation the photopolymer layer's M/# was determined with regard to the recording geometry used. The temporal stability of photopolymer layers was studied in terms of diffraction efficiency and change of the reconstructed angle due to material shrinkage. In addition, the potential of the photopolymer as a holographic data storage medium was demonstrated by recording bit data-pages.
Two optical set-ups for electronic speckle pattern shearing interferometry (ESPSI) using photopolymer diffractive optical elements are presented. Holographic gratings are recorded using an acrylamide based photopolymer material. Since the polymerisation process occurs during recording, the holograms are produced without any development or processing. In both ESPSI systems the photopolymer gratings are used to shear the image. In the first ESPSI system only one grating is used in combination with a sheet of ground glass. The distance between the grating and the ground glass can be used to control the amount of the shear. The sheared images on the ground glass are further imaged onto a CCD camera. In the second ESPSI system two gratings are used to shear the image. The gratings are placed between the object and an imaging lens in front of the CCD camera. The distance between the two gratings controls the size of the shear. The ESPSI system with two photopolymer holographic gratings is compact and suitable for industrial applications. Introducing photopolymer holographic gratings in ESPSI gives the advantage of using high aperture optical elements at relatively low price. Both of these interferometric systems are simple and flexible.