Abstract

Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) are key components in the miniaturization of optical systems because of their planarity and extreme thinness. We demonstrate the fabrication of DOEs by use of gray-scale photolithography with a high-energy-beam sensitive glass photomask. We obtained DOE lenses with continuous phase profiles as small as 800 μm in diameter and 5.9 μm in the outermost grating pitch by selecting a suitable optical density for each height level and optimizing the process variables. Microlenses patterned with eight levels and replicated by UV embossing with the polymer master mold showed a diffraction efficiency of 81.5%, which was sufficiently high for the devices to be used as optical pickups. The effects of deviations in diffraction efficiency between the DOE height and profile design were analyzed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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