Abstract

A new and simple method for generating binary masks for fabrication of gray scale micro-optical elements is proposed and examined. In this technique the main idea is superimposing two or more gratings with slightly different pitches that depend on the considered gray tone level. This causes generation of a chirped binary mask in which the openings widths are changed from a maximum to minimum through considered steps. Furthermore, to show its capability, it was applied to fabricate some microprisms. In addition, influence of proximity gap, and designation parameters on the surface quality were studied. It is shown that surface deterioration is effectively modified by optimizing the designation parameters. In comparison to other techniques, one of the advantages of this method is to have an assortment of pulse modulated masks that are able to create a variety of gray tone levels. Other advantages are ease in designation and implementation, and the fact that surface roughness could be smoothed effectively by aptly optimized parameters. Theoretical approach, simulation works, and experimental results are presented.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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