Non-photolithographic fabrication of Large computer-generated diffractive optical elements

Cynthia L. Vernold, Thomas D. Milster

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Large computer generated diffractive optical elements (DOE's) are useful in many applications. Typical sizes of DOE's range from 6 inches up to two meters in diameter. Current state-of-the-art techniques for fabricating these DOE's involve photolithographic processing where photoresist is used as the light sensitive medium and an etchable metal layer is used to form the pattern of the DOE. Handling and costs associated with photolithographic methods become critical issues when the DOE's become large. It is therefore advantageous to have a technique that would not require the photolithographic step in the process. This paper will discuss the instrument and the technique used at the Optical Sciences Center (OSC) for fabricating large computer generated DOE's. A non-photolithographic technique of thermally selective oxidization is used to transfer the DOE pattern onto a metallic film on the substrate. The subsequent etching part of the process takes advantage of the differential etch rates of a non-oxidized and oxidized metal. Figure results indicate the accuracy of using this approach to fabricate DOE's is better than λ/100 rms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 30 1994
EventCurrent Developments in Optical Design and Optical Engineering IV 1994 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 24 1994Jul 29 1994


  • Diffractive optics
  • Laser writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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