A new technique of laser-assisted single-step chemical etching for diffractive microlens fabrication upon high-energy-beam sensitive glass is reported. Laser direct writing with calibrated writing parameters results in gray-level mask patterns upon the ion-exchanged layer of the glass. The transmittance-dependent chemical etching upon the glass is then effectively utilized to yield suitable surface relief structures for multiple-phase-level diffractive optical elements. The one-step nonphotolithographic fabrication technique has been successfully applied for the realization of an eight-phase-level diffractive microlens.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(050.2770) Diffraction and gratings : Gratings
(140.1550) Lasers and laser optics : Chemical lasers
(220.3630) Optical design and fabrication : Lenses
Michael R. Wang and Heng Su, "Multilevel diffractive microlens fabrication by one-step laser-assisted chemical etching upon high-energy-beam sensitive glass," Opt. Lett. 23, 876-878 (1998)