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Stratified diffractive optic approach for creating high efficiency gratings

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Gratings with high efficiency in a single diffracted order can be realized with both volume holographic and diffractive optical elements. However, each method has limitations that restrict the applications in which they can be used. For example, high efficiency volume holographic gratings require an appropriate combination of thickness and permittivity modulation throughout the bulk of the material. Possible combinations of those two characteristics are limited by properties of currently available materials, thus restricting the range of applications for volume holographic gratings. Efficiency of a diffractive optic grating is dependent on its approximation of an ideal analog profile using discrete features. The size of constituent features and, consequently, the number that can be used within a required grating period restricts the applications in which diffractive optic gratings can be used. These limitations imply that there are applications which cannot be addressed by either technology. In this paper we propose to address a number of applications in this category with a new method of creating high efficiency gratings which we call stratified diffractive optic gratings. In this approach diffractive optic techniques are used to create an optical structure that emulates volume grating behavior.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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