Laser Micromachining for Rapid Manufacture of Diffraction Optical Components
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Potomac Photonics, Inc.
4445 Nicole Drive, Lanham, MD, 20706
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Michael T. Duignan
AbstractWe propose proof-of-principle experiments that will lead to a unique tool that will play a major role in the development and implementation of diffractive optics in the next decade. Waveguide excimer laser technology will be used to directly etch diffractive phase gratings onto the substrate surface without intervening masks or complex chemical processing. This tool will be a completely integrated computer-aided design and computer-aided micro-machining workstation that will extend the benefits of diffractive optics technology to optical designers on a scale never before possible. With a single computer-based system, the engineer will be able to design, optimize, manufacture, measure, and refine diffractive optical elements of arbitrary structure on virtually any 2-D or 3-D surface. At the same time, the projected affordability and simplicity will put this tool within the reach of many designers and fabricators of optical components who are now forced to forego the advantages of diffractive elements in their optical designs due to the staggering development costs associated with conventional microlithographic methods.
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