We present a method to design the pure-phase distribution based on phase optimization for realizing the three-dimensional (3D) intensity modulation on curved surfaces (CS) and apply it to fabricate desired 3D patterns on CS. 3D intensity patterns are reconstructed numerically as well as fabricated experimentally on CS with high quality, which demonstrates the validity of the method. Since the arbitrary phase profile of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) on CS can be mapped into the 3D optical intensity distribution on CS, the method can be directly applied to fabricate any desired DOEs on CS. As far as we know, it is the first time to design the pure-phase distribution for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on CS and apply it to fabricate arbitrary patterns on CS.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
The methods to fabricate micro/nano-structures on curved surfaces (CS) can be applied to produce many useful devices such as artificial compound eyes  and thin-film transistors . In recent years, there have been several methods to fabricate micro/nano-structures on CS including the ruling engine , the ion beam proximity lithography , the laser direct writing [5–8]. However, these methods require expensive equipment and the fabricating process is time-consuming. Soft lithography [9,10] and nanoimprint lithography  are proposed to solve the problem of low-throughput while the fabricating accuracy is limited to micrometer dimension. The interference lithograph is a simple method to fabricate micro patterns in large areas [12–17]. The modulation of the three-dimensional (3D) optical intensity with arbitrary distribution on CS is a key problem for fabricating 3D desired patterns on CS. Shi et al. have proposed an approach to fabricate diffractive optical elements (DOEs) with arbitrary profile by interference on planar surfaces , and Zhao et al. have proposed an improved method to fabricate DOEs with arbitrary profile and large area on CS . Though the approach proposed by Zhao et al. can realize the arbitrary 3D intensity modulation on CS by interference theoretically, the precise alignment of two phase-only spatial light modulators (SLMs) within micrometer precision is required. Since it is difficult to align two SLMs precisely for achieving the desired patterns on CS, actually, they employed one phase (loaded in SLM) to fabricate the pattern on the curved surface for verifying the proposed theory, and the experimental result is approximate. Thus it is necessary to explore a convenient and practical method to fabricate micro patterns on CS.
In this paper, we present a method to design the pure-phase distribution on the plane based on phase optimization for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on CS, and apply the method of arbitrary 3D intensity modulation on CS to produce corresponding patterns on CS. The experimental fabrication process is convenient since only one optimized phase (loaded in SLM) is required. 3D intensity patterns are designed and reconstructed numerically on complicated CS. Both a 3D binary pattern and a 3D gray level pattern are reconstructed numerically as well as fabricated experimentally on cylindrical surfaces with high quality. Since the arbitrary phase profile of DOEs on CS can be mapped into the 3D optical intensity distribution on CS, the method can be directly applied to fabricate any desired DOEs on CS.
2. Basic principles
In scalar diffraction domain, Huygens diffraction  can be expressed as21,22] can be expressed asFig. 1. and represent coordinates and , respectively. Coordinates and are both Cartesian coordinate systems. and are the wavelength and wave number of light wave in free space, respectively. The distance between and (coordinate plane) is d. The diffraction distance between two points from and the curved surface is , where is the distance along the z-axis, which is variable for different points on the curved surface. is the plane while is the curved surface. and are the direction factors, denotes the angle between and (the normal vector of the micro area on ), denotes the angle between and (the normal vector of the micro area on curved surface). The positive optical propagation direction is from to , thus complex light-field distribution on the curved surface is obtained by Huygens diffraction of on the , which can be expressed as , where represents the Huygens diffraction, as described in Eq. (1). On the contrary is obtained by , where represents the inverse Huygens diffraction, as described in Eq. (2).
The phase retrieval method is introduced to design the pure-phase distribution for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on CS. As shown in Fig. 2, the whole process of the phase retrieval method can be described as follows: Firstly, the initial complex amplitude distribution on the curved surface is assigned with the ideal intensity and a random phase. When the jth iteration is performed, the complex amplitude distribution on is computed by using the inverse Huygens diffraction of the distribution on the curved surface. As to the complex amplitude distribution , amplitude of unity is imposed and the phase is kept, then the distribution is obtained. After that, the Huygens diffraction of is computed to form the complex amplitude distribution on the curved surface. The phase is kept while the amplitude is replaced with. M is a function of zero at the positions of the zero padding and unity at the image’s pixels, the parameters and with the value between 0 and 1 are the noise suppression parameter and the feedback parameter, respectively . Subsequently, with replacement of the new complex amplitude distribution as the initial distribution for the next iteration, the procedure is repeated until the distribution converges into a value that forms the target distribution with acceptable relative error or the process reaches the maximum number of iterations. Finally, the output distribution on is obtained. Thus the pure-phase distribution can be acquired and then loaded in the phase-only SLM in order to modulate ideal 3D intensity distribution on CS.
3. Numerical simulations
Numerical simulations are performed to demonstrate the validity of the phase retrieval method for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on CS. First of all, the mathematical modeling method is established. The simplest curved surface is a cylindrical surface which is only curved in one dimension with constant curvature. The sampling pixel of the cylindrical surface is shown in Fig. 3, the top view is shown in Fig. 3(a), and the center green part is divided into many grids with equal areas as shown in Fig. 3(b). Here L is side length of the simulated pattern, R is the radius of the surface curvature, and is the field angle. The area of the single grid will become extremely small if the number of the grids is large enough, which can be achieved through sampling more points for the simulated pattern. Thus every tiny grid can be regarded as a micro area. Next, we design the pure-phase distribution on the plane for modulating 3D intensity distribution on the cylindrical surface. Numerical simulations are performed subsequently for both a 3D binary pattern and a 3D gray level pattern.
In order to demonstrate the viability of the phase retrieval method, the actual calculation of a 3D binary pattern is conducted numerically. As shown in Fig. 4(a), the ideal 3D intensity distribution is a four-Chinese-character (meaning: the curved surface processing) pattern on cylindrical surface, and the color bar on the right denotes the range of intensity distribution. The designed results are shown in Figs. 4 (b) and (c). The binary pattern with pixel of 128 × 128 is expanded to a pattern with pixels of 200 × 200 by zero padding. The number of the sampling points is 200 × 200. The parameters used for the simulation of binary pattern are: L = 12mm, R = 51.852mm, = 532nm, d = 433mm, and the size of SLM is 7.68mm × 7.68mm. The size of the pattern without zero padding is 7.68mm × 7.68mm and after zero padding the size is 12mm × 12mm. We choose the noise suppression parameter and the feedback parameter for the pattern after zero padding. The ideal complex distribution on the cylindrical surface is , where the amplitude part A is imposed as . Finally, the reconstructed intensity distribution with 35 iterations is shown in Fig. 4(b). The relative error (RE) is introduced to evaluate the reconstruction quality, which can be defined as, whererepresents the error item, denotes the ideal pattern item, and M and N in the formulas represent the number of grids of the pattern. As shown in Fig. 4(c), the RE can reduce to 2.91% after 35 iterations.
For the purpose of better illuminating the validity of this method, we study on a 3D gray level pattern subsequently. As shown in Fig. 5(a), the 3D gray level badge pattern of Beijing Institute of Technology is used as the ideal pattern. The gray level pattern with pixels of 256 × 256 is expanded to a pattern with pixels of 400 × 400 by zero padding and the number of the sample points is 400 × 400. The other parameters and processing procedure of the pattern are the same as those used for 3D binary pattern mentioned above. As shown in Figs. 5(b) and 5(c), the reconstructed pattern after 35 iterations is acquired with high quality and the RE reduces to 0.66% after 35 iterations, which again demonstrates the availability of the method.
To better prove the validity of this method for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on various CS, we then perform numerical simulations on more complicated CS with different curvatures. The curved surface can be described by the mathematical formula which is expressed as , where parameters a, b and c are constant. The first case is selected as the curved surface with the parameters a = 1/10, b = 1, c = 1. The radius of curvature of the surface is variable along both Cartesian coordinates. The gray level pattern “cameraman” is selected as the desired pattern, as shown in Fig. 6(a). The size of the pattern without zero padding is 4.92mm × 4.92mm and after zero padding the size is 7.68mm × 7.68mm. The other parameters and processing procedure of the pattern are the same as those used for 3D binary pattern mentioned above. Then the numerical simulations of the 3D gray level pattern are performed, and the results are shown in Figs. 6(b) and 6(c). It is seen that the reconstructed pattern is achieved with high quality and the RE reduces to 1.02% after 20 iterations.
To study the influence of the surface’s curvature on the reconstruction quality, we then increase the curvature of the CS by setting the parameter a = 1 and keeping other parameters unchanged. The ideal pattern on the curved surface is shown in Figs. 7(a), where the curved surface is steeper with the increase of the curvature. The simulated results are shown in Figs. 7(b) and 7(c). The corresponding RE reduces to 1.71% after 20 iterations. Though a slightly quality reduction of reconstructed pattern is found, the validity of this method for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on complicated CS with different curvatures is demonstrated.
4. Experiment results and discussion
We employ the holographic projection technique to perform the experiment. The simplest curved surface (cylindrical surface) is chosen to perform the optical experiments because the actual fabrication can be conveniently controlled. The schematic view of experimental setup is shown in Fig. 8. In the actual experiment, the light source is a laser with wavelength of 532nm (Oxxius 532-300-COL-PP-LAS-01462), the SLM (BNS XY series, 512 × 512 pixels, the active area is 7.68mm × 7.68mm) is illuminated by the spatial-filtered and collimated laser beam produced by the light source. The pure-phase distribution we designed is subsequently loaded in the SLM to modulate the incident laser beam. A very strong zero-order noise of the modulated light reflected by SLM can be eliminated by a combination of a 4-f system and a high-pass filter. It is necessary to adjust the central position and axial distance of cylindrical lens precisely. The modulated optical intensity is produced. Finally, the photopolymer on the cylindrical lens surface is exposed by the modulated light for recording the modulated 3D intensity distribution.
For both experiments, the sizes of patterns are selected in accordance with the size of SLM’s active area (7.68mm × 7.68mm). The parameters referred in the experiment are as follows: L = 12mm, R = 51.852mm, = 532nm, the number of grids is 200 × 200 for the binary pattern, and 400 × 400 for the gray level badge pattern, respectively. The diffraction distances between the modulators plane and the cylindrical surface are both 433mm for two cases. The whole length is 2633mm from SLM to cylindrical lens in the actual optical system.
The experimental results are shown in Fig. 9 and Fig. 10, where the 3D binary pattern with four Chinese characters and the 3D gray level badge pattern of Beijing Institute of Technology are used as the ideal patterns. Figure 9 and Fig. 10 (a) are captured by 500X Series Digital Microscope, while the magnified partial image in Fig. 10(b) is captured by OLYMPUS BX51 optical microscope. There is a proportional dimension at the lower right corner of the image. As we can see, the two patterns are fabricated successfully, which demonstrates the validity of the proposed method.
Although the two patterns are formed, the resolution is not very well in the following several possible reasons: first, the smoothness and uniformity of the photopolymer used is not good; second, the filter system blocks brings about additional noise when it is used to eliminate the low-frequency noise; third, the dust is inevitable during the image acquisition experiments, which also reduces the captured image quality. In brief, ideal experimental environment will guarantee the good results. It proves to be an effective method to modulate 3D intensity distribution on CS.
This method could be applied to fabricate the DOEs with arbitrary phase distribution on CS. When a DOE with arbitrary phase profile on CS needs to be fabricated, since the chemical development of the photoresist on CS is linearly related to the 3D intensity of the light wave, we can convert the required phase distribution into the optical intensity of the light wave. When the optical intensity of the light wave on CS is modulated, the fabrication of DOEs with arbitrary phase distribution on CS can be achieved.
The method based on phase optimization is proposed to design the pure-phase distribution on the plane for realizing the 3D intensity modulation on CS. Both the numerical simulations and the experimental verification are performed with high quality. The method simplifies the experimental fabrication process by using a single SLM. It can be applied to fabricate the non-periodic and more complex 3D patterns on CS, such as any desired DOEs on CS. It is worth to mention that the CS can be even more complicated though we use the cylindrical surface in the experiments. Because a single SLM is required, this method is convenient and it could have broader application prospects of various fields such as image processing, 3D display, and optical manipulation on CS.
This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program Grant Nos. 2013CB328801 and 2013CBA01702), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61235002).
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