Optical input/output interfaces between silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides and optical fibers, allowing robust, costeffective and low-loss coupling of light, are fundamental functional elements in the library of silicon photonic devices. Surface grating couplers are particularly desirable as they allow wafer-scale device testing, yield improved alignment tolerances, and are compatible with state-of-the-art integration and packaging technologies. While several factors jointly contribute to the coupler performance, the grating directionality is a critical parameter for high-efficiency fiber-chip coupling. To address this issue, conventional coupler designs typically call upon comparatively complex architectures to improve light coupling efficiency. Increasing the intrinsic directionality of the grating by exploiting the blazing effects is another promising solution. In this paper, we report on our recent advances in development of low-loss grating couplers that afford excellent directionality, close to the theoretical limit of 100%. In particular, we demonstrate, by theory and experiments, several implementations of blazed grating couplers with layout features that are compatible with deepultraviolet (deep-UV) optical lithography. Devices can be advantageously implemented on various photonic platforms, including industry-specific and the offerings of publicly accessible foundries. The first experimental realizations of uniform deep-UV-compatible couplers yield losses of -2.7 dB at 1.55-µm and a 3-dB bandwidth of 62 nm. A subwavelength-index-engineered impedance matching transition is used to reduce back-reflections down to -20 dB.