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The work presented reports various new findings and applications. We have demonstrated the first miniaturized modulator able to transform an input Gaussian beam into a non-diffracting Bessel-like beam using a photoinduced index of refraction pattern. This approach allows the modulator to be fast and to use low voltage, and permits in principle the integration into solid-state arrays. The observation that our modulator does not involve self-action effects is the natural starting point for studying the propagation of non-diffracting beams in the presence of non-linearity (Flammini et. al. to be submitted).