A low-cost, direct fabrication technique with a micrometer range resolution has been implemented for rapid prototyping of optical masks for photolithography and structured light and diffraction optics applications. Using a setup based on the optical unit of a compact disc–digital versatile disc burner, a low-energy infrared laser beam was focused on a thin polymeric layer with embedded absorbing carbon nanopowder coated on a transparent glass substrate. This allowed for the generation of a custom-made transparent pattern in a computer numerical control fashion. In addition to its great simplicity and repeatability, the method also enables grayscale contrasts for each pixel individually, and fabricated masks proved to resist high intensities.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
Diffraction and Gratings
Original Manuscript: November 12, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 5, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: February 11, 2014
Published: March 18, 2014
Lucia Cabriales, Mathieu Hautefeuille, Gerardo Fernández, Victor Velázquez, Marcela Grether, and Enrique López-Moreno, "Rapid fabrication of on-demand high-resolution optical masks with a CD–DVD pickup unit," Appl. Opt. 53, 1802-1807 (2014)