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1 June 1999 Emerging fabrication methods for diffractive optical elements
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New applications for diffractive optics and increasing demand for volume production of components have been motivating forces behind advances in fabrication technology for diffractive optical elements. The most common fabrication methods include the multiple masking and etching approach developed at MIT's Lincoln Labs in the mid 1980's, laser or electron-beam direct writing, diamond turning, and holographic exposure. Replication of optical components using embossing or injection molding techniques is relatively common. While all these methods are well established and have their own respective advantages and disadvantages, researchers have continued to explore new fabrication methods. Three techniques with a great deal of promise for diffractive optics fabrication include grayscale lithography, near-field holography, and methods of so called `soft lithography'. Each of these techniques offers the potential to reduce fabrication costs, improve performance, or allow new applications of diffractive technology. In this paper, we will present results of research performed on these fabrication methods and discuss advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Thomas J. Suleski, Betty Baggett, William F. Delaney, and Alan D. Kathman "Emerging fabrication methods for diffractive optical elements", Proc. SPIE 3633, Diffractive and Holographic Technologies, Systems, and Spatial Light Modulators VI, (1 June 1999);


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