Abstract

We describe a method of fabricating multilevel diffractive optics by excimer laser ablation. A portion of a chrome mask containing many patterns is illuminated by 193-nm laser light and imaged by an objective lens onto a poly(imide) substrate. Ablation of an entire single pattern is achieved in a single laser pulse. Multiple pulses are used to vary the ablation depth, and multiple patterns are used to create a variety of multilevel optics. We have successfully fabricated arrays of eight-level diffractive microlenses with varying focal lengths and decenters. The optics performed with diffraction-limited focusing and near-theoretical diffraction efficiency (92%).

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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