What Are Diffractive Optical Elements?

What Are Diffractive Optical Elements?

Diffractive Optical Elements, also known as DOEs are basically optical components that are made of sub-wavelength structures featuring complex arrangements. The DOEs based on the application types are able to manipulate incident light phase or amplitude with the intention of creating an expected output pattern with special functionality.

Diffractive optics having a specific function follow the same principles as the diffractive grating, additionally, having a repetitive system of two or more levels on the substrate surface – etched into the surface of a hard substrate or replicated in a polymer on the substrate surface or made fully in a polymer. The order of the wavelength of light determines the pattern’s depth that’s specific to the application and is adjusted to the refractive index of the DOE material.

Presently, with high accuracy and advanced micro or nanolithography fabrication methods, it is possible to engineer Diffractive Optics that offer sizes ranging from few hundreds of nanometers to a few millimeters, thereby being much thinner and lighter and featuring a higher resolution as compared to the bulky refractive counterparts.

Modern, revolutionary optical instrumentation has replaced refractive optical components with the DOE counterparts, whereby maintaining high multi-functionality, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and compactness. These are a few things that are crucial in terms of integrated optics.

DOEs and Its Applications 

The diffractive optical elements are capable of enhancing the value of laser systems and you can find them in applications like LIDAR and LADAR including motion detectors and position sensors.

What diffractive optics can do for you? 

The companies manufacturing these optical components customize them to your needs and this lets you shape light efficiently and enhance overall performance as well as the flexibility of the products.

What does customize performance offer?

  • High aspect ratios
  • High pattern fidelity
  • Low roughness
  • Steep side walls

Diffractive optics is divided into 3 categories as per their functions:

  • Beam splitters
  • Beam shapers
  • Diffusers or homogenizers

How diffractive optics can be beneficial?

  • They have been created with high-quality production methods by the experts, which make them precise
  • They are adaptable and can easily replace or combine refractive optics with diffractive optics
  • They are energy-efficient and can control the intensity of laser beams
  • They can be custom-designed as per the specific requirements
  • They are highly effective

Today, you can buy the best quality diffractive optic elements from the leading manufacturers who guarantee to deliver the best solutions every time.