The diffractive optical elements are the manufactured elements that have a microstructure pattern that can control and alter the phases of transmitted laser lights. By altering the microstructure, it is possible to produce any beam intensity or any beam spot for meeting the application requirements. The DOEs shapes and splits the laser beam in an energy-efficient manner.
These elements can be used in several applications with minimal loss of light. The optical elements can be manufactured on personal needs and applications. The systems that are based on external light resources can also be benefited from diffractive optics.
What are the fields of application of diffractive optical elements?
Diffractive optical elements are used for various applications in medical, research, 3D sensing, material processing, and more. These elements can be manufactured following the requirement in the application.
- Laser material processing
The splitting and shaping of laser beams can be done easily with the help of diffractive optical elements. Due to this reason, it is used in welding, soldering, cutting, scoring, and drilling.
- Optical sensors
These are used for making distance and position sensors.
- Lithography and holographic lighting
The beam produced is homogeneous and is thus used for structured pupil illumination, homogeneous field illumination, mask projection system of a high or normal tilted plane.
- Biomedical devices
The element is used for laser treatments and in diagnostics instruments.
- LIDAR/LADAR applications
The optical speed and distance are measured with the help of laser beams.
The elements are used for wavelength selection, silicon photonics applications, and beam splitters.
Why use diffractive optical elements?
Diffractive optical elements are ideal for all types of laser applications, especially when a specific beam shape is needed. Some advantages are enlisted below:
- DOEs are thin, lightweight, and flat, making them the perfect solution for systems in which compactness is valued.
- They can be extremely robust, depending upon the substrate material. Thus performance is never compromised under any circumstance.
- They have perfect angular accuracy. Therefore, any required beam can be produced easily by shaping and splitting the original beam.
The diffractive optical elements are the elements that are used for controlling and altering the laser beams. Due to this reason, they are used in a wide range of applications, like, biomedical devices, communication, sensors, and more. They are compact and reliable, thus making them cost-efficient.