Abstract

We report on reflection gratings produced entirely of dielectric materials. This gives the opportunity to enhance the laser damage threshold over that occurring in conventional metal gratings used for chirped-pulse-amplification, high-power lasers. The design of the system combines a dielectric mirror and a well-defined corrugated top layer to obtain optimum results. The rules that have to be considered for the design optimization are described. We optimized the parameters of a dielectric grating with a binary structure and theoretically obtained 100% reflectivity for the -1 order in the Littrow mounting for a 45° angle of incidence. Subsequently we fabricated gratings by structuring a low-refractive-index top layer of a multilayer stack with electron-beam lithography. The multilayer system was fabricated by conventional sputtering techniques onto a flat fused-silica substrate. The parameters of the device were measured and controlled by light scatterometer equipment. We measured 97% diffraction efficiency in the -1 order and damage thresholds of 4.4 and 0.18 J/cm2 with 5-ns and 1-ps laser pulses, respectively, at a wavelength of 532 nm in working conditions.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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