PACS: 42.40; 42.80; 81.60Z
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract. Masks for laser processing are generated by laser ablation patterning of dielectric layer systems. The application of these masks for the rapid fabrication of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) is presented. The diffractive optical elements are designed as phase-only elements, assuming an illumination with a plane wave. A continuous phase function is calculated using an iterative Fourier transform algorithm (IFTA). This continuous phase function is reduced to two or four levels by an iterative Fourier quantisation algorithm (IFQA) that is able to include focal power. The fabrication of the DOE is performed in a two-step process. First, a binary amplitude mask (or a set of masks for multi-level DOEs) is made by structured ablation of a highly reflective dielectric coating (HR 248 nm) from a fused silica substrate. This is accomplished by using an ArF excimer laser emitting at 193 nm, a wavelength that is sufficiently absorbed in the HfO2/SiO2-dielectric layer system, leading to precisely ablated mask structures. In the second step, this mask is used in a 4:1 projection configuration to generate a surface profile in a polymer substrate by ablation at 248 nm. The depth modulation can be defined by adjusting laser fluence and pulse number. Examples of DOEs ablated in polycarbonate are shown and their performance is characterised.
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