Abstract

We have developed improved cavity-finesse methods for characterizing the diffraction efficiencies of large gratings at the Littrow angle. These methods include measuring cavity length with optical techniques, using a Michelson interferometer to calibrate piezoelectric transducer nonlinearities and angle-tuning procedures to confirm optimal alignment. We used these methods to characterize two 20 cm scale dielectric gratings. The values taken from across their surfaces collectively had means and standard deviations of μ=99.293% and σ=0.164% and μ=99.084% and σ=0.079%. The greatest efficiency observed at a single point on a grating was (99.577±0.002)%, which is also the most accurate measurement of the diffraction efficiency in the literature of which we are aware. These results prove that a high diffraction efficiency with low variation is achievable across large apertures for gratings. © 2009 Optical Society of America

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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