Diffractive Optics

Diffractive optical elements (DOE) are surface relief structures which can provide abitrary beam shaping and pattern formation functionality. Using our customised design and fabrication capabilties, we are able to provide state of the art diffractive optical elements with high diffraction efficiency and low non-uniformity on ultrathin, lightweight and high damage threshold substrates suitable for a wide range of applications. The range of functionalities for these customised devices is vast including:

  • Simple fan-out operations, where a single incident beam is divided into a symmetric array of uniform beamlets

  • Pattern formation, where the incident beam is used to create a high efficiency visually appealing image for display and security applications

  • Beam conditioning, where the initial beam is reformatted into a more useful beam profile, e.g. super Gaussian, ring mode, non-diffracting beam

  • Two and three colour elements producing wavelength multiplexed patterns for any application where multiple wavelengths are present. Seen here; output from a dual-colour DOE, when illuminated with a white light LED.

Potential applications of this technology include:

Typical sizes of diffractive optical elements range from a few 10s of micrometres for simple fan-out elements up to a few millimetres for complex pattern formation elements. The individual features forming the surface relief structure of diffractive optical element have a minimum feature size of 1.5 micrometres limiting the diffraction angle to approximately 10°.