We present a new lithographic technique based on a hybrid photothermal process to modulate the refractive index in commercial SU-8 photoresist. Owing to a difference in cross-linking, the refractive index of unexposed SU-8 cross-linked by thermally induced polymerization is 0.0072 higher than that of SU-8 cross-linked by UV exposure and postbaking. Making use of this property, we fabricated two thick, flat-topped index-modulated diffractive optical elements (DOEs) that contain different phase distributions and measured their wavefront reconstruction. The good experimental reconstructions of the index DOEs demonstrate the potential to extend the refractive-index modulation technique for the fabrication of three-dimensional optical elements without needing a development step.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Diffraction and Gratings
Original Manuscript: November 21, 2005
Revised Manuscript: February 6, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: March 1, 2006
Biow Hiem Ong, Xiaocong Yuan, Shaohua Tao, and Swee Chuan Tjin, "Photothermally enabled lithography for refractive-index modulation in SU-8 photoresist," Opt. Lett. 31, 1367-1369 (2006)