Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) are widely used in various applications such as material processing, illumination, medical, and sensor applications by providing a shape on demand of laser beams. In contrast to refractive optical elements, the effect of DOEs is based on modulating the phase of the beam locally. This creates an interference pattern of the beam. The more height levels are implemented in a DOE, the higher its diffraction efficiency.
Rapid fabrication and testing in practice of new designs is desirable to shorten the prototyping development cycle of DOEs. High Precision 3D Printing via a two-photon absorption (TPA) process initiating a polymerization reaction allows manufacturing of virtually any 3D-shaped object, thus being the technique of choice to fabricate DOEs at high precision with an arbitrary number of levels within short time periods.
We demonstrate the use of High Precision 3D Printing to fabricate DOEs to be used as beam-shaping and beam-splitting elements, respectively. Different exposure strategies in polymer-like materials are used to fabricate DOEs which have significant impact on the fabrication time. The quality of the fabricated DOEs will be assessed by a variety of characterization methods such as metrology investigations for determination of the surface quality (for example, shape deviations, roughness), AFM, and optical characterization. The impact of different exposure strategies on the final DOEs will be presented and discussed.
Fabian Hilbert and Benedikt Stender, "Comparison of fabrication strategies for diffractive optical elements using two-photon polymerization (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10544, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XI, 1054413 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 30, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288434.5751542774001.
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