We have demonstrated a high-efficiency grating (>80%) using a three-layer Stratified Volume Diffractive Optical Element (SVDOE). Its angular sensitivity was measured optically and shown to agree extremely well with simulations performed using rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA). Further simulations predict an increase in efficiency as the number of layers is increased. An SVDOE consists of binary grating layers interleaved with homogeneous layers. The binary grating layers are shifted laterally relative to each other to emulate a volume holographic grating with slanted fringes. Creating the slanted fringe structure permits the preferred incidence angle of the SVDOE to be rotated to any arbitrary position. Achieving the relative offset between grating layers is the most challenging fabrication step and required the development of a high-precision alignment technique that was implemented on a contact mask aligner. The approach is based on monitoring the diffraction signal of a beam that is transmitted through gratings on the substrate and those on the mask as they are translated with respect to one another during pre-exposure alignment. The homogeneous layers are fabricated using a polymer material, SU-8, that is spin-coated and then planarized during its curing process.
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