Due to the high selectivity of the process Reactive Ion Etching is nevertheless a reasonable choice for the fabrication of Diffractive Optical Elements. To improve the quality of the etched surfaces a post processing with Ion Beam Etching is developed. Simulations in MATLAB display that the angle dependent removal of the surface during the Ion Beam Etching causes a smoothing of the surface roughness. The positive influence of a post processing on the diffraction efficiency is outlined by measurements.
The ion beam post processing leads to an increase of the etching depth. For the fabrication of high efficient Diffractive Optical Elements this has to be taken into account. The relation is investigated and transferred to the fabrication of four-level gratings. Diffraction efficiencies up to 78 % instead of the ideal 81 % underline the practicability of the developed post processing.