The technologies based on holographic and photonic techniques related to the optical storage and optical processing of information are rapidly evolving. One of the key points of this evolution are the new recording materials able to perform under the most specific situations and applications. In this sense, the importance of the photopolymers is growing spectacularly. This is mainly due to their versatility in terms of composition and design together with other interesting properties such as self-processing capabilities. In this chapter, we introduce the diffractive optical elements (DOE) generation in these materials and some of the most important parameters involved in this process. The deep knowledge of the material is essential to model its behavior during and after the recording process and we present different techniques to characterize the recording materials. We also present a 3D theoretical diffusion model able to reproduce and predict the experimental behavior of the recording process of any kind of DOE onto the photopolymers. The theoretical results will be supported by experimental analysis using a hybrid optical-digital setup, which includes a liquid crystal on silicon display. Besides this analysis, we study a method to improve the conservation and characteristics of these materials, an index-matching system.
Part of the book: Polymerization