Abstract

The diffraction efficiency of a surface-relief grating (SRG) was dramatically increased by corona discharge. We fabricated this SRG by applying surface modulation to azo polymer films, using laser interference fringes. The electric charge was deposited upon the SRG by a corona discharge in an oven. The first-order diffraction efficiency measured before and after corona discharge above the glass-transition temperature increased from 2% to 40% in a SRG written with a circularly polarized beam. The relief depth of the SRG as measured with an atomic-force microscope also increased, from 130 nm to 450 nm. The increase in diffraction efficiency was independent of the writing polarization.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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