The mechanical deformations of variable elastomeric diffractive optical elements are calculated by finite element methods. Starting from optimized blazed gratings, the derived profile variations serve as an input for rigorous-coupled-wave analysis to calculate the diffraction efficiency of a spectral band from 200 to 1200 nm. Applied planar strain of up to 80% has little effect on the maximum diffraction efficiency for large grating-period-to-wavelength ratios, , with only a shift toward shorter wavelengths. With a decreasing , the maximum efficiency also decreases when stretching the grating structure. Further influences of profile design like the angle of the antiblaze facet and the use of higher-order blaze profiles were investigated. Finally, we simulate the change in the diffraction efficiency at a single wavelength of a flexible blazed grating in direct contact with a rigid glass plate. In this case, the soft matter grating is compressed and deformed to reduce the diffracting properties.
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