Orienting two identical or complementary diffractive gratings with a small angle between the grating grooves allows a new crossed-grating device to be constructed. This device has an effective profile that varies locally. For understanding the effects of this variation and the diffraction efficiency of the gratings, the local profiles were correlated with the moiré period of the crossed-grating system by use of various techniques. Asymmetric intensity behavior in the first order of the crossed gratings was seen. Effectively, the diffraction efficiency of the crossed gratings yielded a response equivalent to that of a grating with variable blaze that could be useful in optical computing as a passive optical switching device. One of several models is described that creates greater asymmetric behavior.
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