By use of simple theoretical considerations on the efficiency dependence of a wide class of commercially available gratings, we obtained an empiric equivalence rule. This rule makes it possible to create equivalence classes of gratings that among themselves show a variety of profiles but have, as long as only two orders are propagating, efficiency curves lying very close to each other. The equivalence rule is visualized by drawing a nomogram. The rule and the grating nomogram serve as a basis for finding new and explaining old properties of ruled, holographic, and lamellar gratings.
© 1980 Optical Society of America
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