Prototyping of beam shaping diffraction gratings by AFM nanoscale patterning

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Original languageEnglish
Article number4982561
Pages (from-to)49-57
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


Diffractive gratings are often associated with the use of beam shaping device utilizing a monochromatic source. They could provide high flexibility in design and offer a precise control according to applications. The design of diffraction grating often makes several iterations through design and prototyping before completion. In this paper, we demonstrate a computer-aided design method and a mechanical method of prototyping diffractive grating optics for beam shaping, which aim at improve productivity through greater design flexibility, rapid fabrication and cost reduction. A description of the optical design is presented along with a discussion on the integrated patterning system. Note to Practitioners-This paper was motivated by the problem in design prototyping of micro optics. In general, the design process is time consuming and prototyping of micro optics always requires a tooling for injection molding or hot embossing. The cost for fabricating the tooling is relatively high compared to direct machining. Unfortunately, component with micro optics is hard to manufacture by direct machining owing to the problems of precision and accuracy. This paper suggested a new approach in designing and prototyping of the micro optics.With the aid of the computer-aided design system, the design process was being expedited. The designer could verify the optical system without any physical model. Once the design was being confirmed, a prototype could be fabricated by using the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). From the experimental results, the AFM was proven to be a rapid fabrication method with high precision and accuracy, which eliminated most of the problems confronted by the conventional techniques. © 2009 IEEE.

Research Area(s)

  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Diffraction, Lithography, Optical beam splitting