Abstract

We present a new lithographic technique based on a hybrid photothermal process to modulate the refractive index in commercial SU-8 photoresist. Owing to a difference in cross-linking, the refractive index of unexposed SU-8 cross-linked by thermally induced polymerization is 0.0072 higher than that of SU-8 cross-linked by UV exposure and postbaking. Making use of this property, we fabricated two thick, flat-topped index-modulated diffractive optical elements (DOEs) that contain different phase distributions and measured their wavefront reconstruction. The good experimental reconstructions of the index DOEs demonstrate the potential to extend the refractive-index modulation technique for the fabrication of three-dimensional optical elements without needing a development step.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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