Abstract

We evaluated the optical performance of an IR echelle grating produced on a silicon wafer with anisotropic etching techniques. We measured the diffraction efficiency of a sample with a 55° blaze angle and 25-μm groove spacing. We also calculated the efficiency for typical triangular and trapezoidal groove profiles of etched gratings. The diffraction efficiency for unpolarized light can be approximately as high as the efficiency of right-angle groove gratings. The great potential of the etched silicon grating lies in its ease of fabrication, its excellent surface quality, and the high reproducibility of the production process. Compact high-resolution diffraction gratings can be produced by etching the grating pattern into the rear side of a transparent prism. When used in internal reflection, this increases the resolving power of the grating by a factor equal to the refractive index of the prism over a front surface grating of the same length.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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