Prof. Dr. Rainer Heintzmann

IPHT Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V., Jena, Germany

"SLMs are a useful tool in optical microscopy research, e.g. to generate tailored light distributions.

In our case, we wanted to generate extended focus illumination using a Bessel beam. This was created by a hologram, generating a ring of light in the back focal plane of a lens which is successively filtered by a spatial aperture.

We successfully achieved this by using an X10468-01 LCOS phase-only spatial light modulator (SLM) from Hamamatsu Photonics and displaying an optimized hologram calculated by an IFTA algorithm. The SLM was easy to use, and it displayed a phase pattern which remained stable over time. Achieving optical flatness was very straight-forward since Hamamatsu Photonics provided us with a correction hologram that was simply added to the theoretical pattern prior to its display.

Finally, we tested the linearity of our SLM at 532 nm and convinced ourselves that it was close to perfect for our application. Using this product as well as interacting with the support of Hamamatsu was and still is a very enjoyable experience."


Stuart Moulder

University of Cambridge, Department of Physics, Atomic, Mesoscopic and
Optical Physics (AMOP) Group

"We acquired a LCOS SLM X10468-02 as its versatility makes it a valuable tool in the field of ultra-cold gases. The first project uses the SLM to generate high order Laguerre Gauss (LG) beams by use of a phase winding, where the angular momentum of the beam is used to induce rotation in a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Compared to conventional methods of stirring the cloud, transitions with LG beams provide a stable method to achieve states of high angular momentum to explore the superfluid state. The low aberrations of the SLM mean we were able to run standard correction algorithms to achieve high purity and uniformity LG beams with relative ease, suitable for our needs. The exceptional efficiency and power threshold of the SLM provide the added ability to create high intensity LG beams to address the atoms with. Secondly we are also looking to use the SLM to produce a range of custom optical trapping potentials which give us a new level of control over the atomic cloud.

The dielectric mirror gives good operation over a wide range of wavelengths which make the SLM useful for generating both attractive and repulsive potentials."


Professor Paul French, Head of Photonics Group

Imperial College, Department of Physics, London, England

"We acquired an SLM X10468-02 to be included in our stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy system. STED achieves super resolved imaging through the use of a depletion beam with a “hole” of zero intensity at its centre.

One way to achieve such a beam is to diffract a laser beam off a grating structure with a helical phase variation. This is readily achieved using a Spatial Light Modulator to encode the required hologram. The programmable nature of the digital hologram is particularly advantageous since it can be used to compensate for optical aberrations acquired in the microscope beam path. For this application, low transmission losses and a high damage threshold are essential.

We tested the Hamamatsu SLM X10468-02 because its broad spectra range (750 to 850 nm) covers the tunability we need for our STED beam and were delighted to observe that the overall diffraction efficiency into the first order was >90 % while we observed very little power in the other diffraction orders. Together with the high damage threshold and the possibility to rapidly switch between different diffraction patterns, this makes the SLM a very promising addition to our STED microscope."


Dr. Alexander Jesacher

University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, UK

"We integrated the Hamamatsu LCoS SLM X10468-02 as a flexible diffractive optical element into our nanofabrication setup, where a short-pulsed high power laser beam is focussed into transparent material in order to perform local modifications of the material.

The first experiments with the SLM integrated were about sensing for optical aberrations in the fabrication beam. The SLM was used to introduce different phase distortions from which we could deduce the real aberrations in the laser beam. A particular advantage of using the SLM compared to a deformable mirror in this experiment was that it allowed us to add binary diffraction gratings to the phase distortions, which reduced the amount of time necessary to perform the aberration measurements by a factor of 2.

Two other major advantages of this system in particular are its high light utilization efficiency and high power handling capability, which is of utmost importance in our case, since we use a regeneratively amplified femtosecond laser."


Professor Kishan Dholakia

University of St Andrews, UK

"The optical trapping group at St Andrews has been actively engaged in beam shaping for a variety of applications in biophotonics over the last decade. This has included optical trapping studies, advanced beam propagation and cell transfection.

We have been very impressed with the LCOS range of spatial light modulators from Hamamatsu and used them extensively in various demanding applications. They have proved to have very good characteristics for generating a wide array of beam profiles and we have been able to address them with appropriate software for full user control in our experiments.

We are very excited with their future potential for various biophotonics applications."


Professor Miles Padgett

University of Glasgow, UK

"I am writing to tell you just how happy with have been with your LCOS, SLMs (X10468-01) in our quantum optics experiments. Their combination of high diffraction efficiency, low aberrations and ease of interfacing makes them ideal for us.

Specifically we are using them to measure the spatial mode profile at the single photon level and applying this to a novel form of Ghost Imaging."


Dr. Walter Perrie

University of Liverpool, UK

"I would highly recommend this Company and their products to any potential collaborator or purchaser. In particular, with regard to the Spatial Light Modulator products, the X10468 series, we have tested the NIR (-03), the visible (-04 and -01) systems with excellent results.

In particular, the -03 and -04, with dielectric coatings, are able to handle high average laser powers > 3W. The products are well engineered and highly reliable and each device comes with a unique file correcting for any slight wavefront variations, important in precision work. I have also been granted significant loan periods in order to assess the products and this was very useful in our evaluation of the potential of these devices for materials processing.

We own one system and will soon acquire a second. In short, Hamamatsu Photonics UK have been an excellent partner in our research work and I look forward to further future collaboration with them. Dr. Raymond Livingstone, in particular has been very helpful and highly expert in these devices."