Abstract

Spontaneous optical pattern formation from an initial seed optical pattern in an optoelectronic system with optical diffractive feedback is investigated experimentally. We demonstrate that the temporal evolution of the spontaneously formed patterns exhibits a contrast enhancement effect, a spatial filtering effect, and filling of vacant space while the surrounding structures are maintained. These effects allow us to perform image processing of natural fringe patterns, i.e., in our experiments, fingerprint patterns. We also demonstrate image processing with defect invariance for fingerprint patterns.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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