Complex spatial light modulator (SLM), which can simultaneously control the amplitude and phase of light waves, is a key technology for wide-range of wave-optic technologies including holographic three-dimensional displays. This paper presents a flat panel complex spatial light modulator that consists of dual in-plane switching liquid crystal panels with double-degrees of freedom of voltage inputs. The proposed architecture features single-pixel level complex light modulation enabling complex light modulation in entire free space, which is most contrast to conventional macro-pixel based complex modulation techniques. Its complex light modulation capability is verified with theoretical simulation and experimental characterization, and a three-dimensional holographic image reconstruction without conjugate noise. It is believed that the proposed flat panel complex SLM can be an essential device for a wide range of advanced wave optic technologies.
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