Diffractive Optics: Fabrication

Authored by: Thomas J. Suleski

Encyclopedia of Optical and Photonic Engineering

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9781439850978
eBook ISBN: 9781351247184
Adobe ISBN:


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Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) have been the subject of increasing interest as more optical designers discover the many advantages that these versatile devices offer. The vast range of functions that can be performed with diffractive optics, as well as the cost and size advantages that they offer, have made them welcome and useful additions to the optical designer’s toolkit. DOEs have been used to replace conventional optical components, such as lenses and beam splitters, in a fraction of the space required for traditional methods. In addition, the flexibility that they provide allows the creation of microoptical components with nontraditional (or previously nonexistent) functionality. Examples of optical components that can be readily made using diffractive structures include highly customizable antireflection “coatings,” wavefront compensators, “flat-top” and other beam-shaping optics, pattern generators, diffusers, optical aberration correctors, and many other devices. Similarly, many different optical functions can be incorporated into a single diffractive pattern.

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