Abstract

A conventional method to synthesize diffractive optical elements and computer-generated holograms (CGH’s) with high diffraction efficiency relies on an increase of phase levels. To fabricate such a device, one should perform electron-beam (e-beam) lithography with multiple-dose exposures or multiple-step photolithography. Here we describe a one-step method, which is based on the effective medium theory, for the fabrication of a multilevel phase CGH. The phase modulations required in cells of a CGH are constructed by means of dividing these cells into fine (subwavelength) structures. The surface features of these fine structures control their corresponding indices, and their values can be calculated according to the effective medium theory. By proper selection of the fine structures, based on the requirements of the phase modulation of the cells, a CGH with multilevel phases is synthesized when a binary structure is relieved on the dielectric material. Then the CGH can be fabricated by direct e-beam lithography or one-step photolithography through an amplitude mask followed by an ion-etching treatment. The experimental results showed that the reconstructed wave field is in good agreement with that simulated by a computer, indicating the effectiveness of the proposed method.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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