Abstract

The extension of holographic techniques from the visible to the infrared is important. Potentially, holographic diffractive elements have a large range of uses in this wave band. Examples include mirrors, lenses, filters, and beam combiners. All these elements would have similar advantages to those enjoyed by their visible band diffractive analogs. The metal photodissolution effect in chalcogenides shows promise as one of the few techniques for producing low-loss holographic materials for use at any given wavelength from 0.6 to beyond 16 μm. To date, the work has concentrated on the photodissolution of silver into arsenic sulfide glasses. Both bulk and surface relief gratings can be fabricated simply by holographic or mask exposure. In principle, kinoforms (e.g., blazed zone plates) and Fresnel lenses can also be made. The results of material studies show that phase gratings with high modulation and low absorption can be produced. A coupled-wave analysis is used to calculate the likely grating performance, and some initial grating characterization results are presented. The limitations of the medium are discussed and possible solutions are considered.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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