A novel scheme for the integration of diffractive optical elements onto silicon is presented. The processing is made in reverse order, meaning that the process of structuring the optical elements on the wafer precedes the silicon microstructuring. The first processing step on the wafer is the hot embossing of the optical microstructures into an amorphous fluorocarbon polymer spin coated on the wafer. The cured polymer forms a highly stable material with excellent optical properties. The remaining silicon processing is thus performed with the diffractive optical elements already in place. Two different diffractive structures were used in the development of the method—a (Fresnel) lens with a rather low f-number and a diffractive element producing a fan-out of a large number of paraxial beams.
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