Additive fabrication of SiO2-based micro-optics with lag-free depth and reduced roughness

Hadi Amata*, Qiang Fu, Wolfgang Heidrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultra-thin optical components with high design flexibility are required for various applications in today’s optical and imaging systems, and this is why the use of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) is rapidly increasing. They can be used for multiple optical systems because of their compact size, increased design flexibility, and ease of mass production. Unfortunately, most existing DOEs are fabricated using conventional etching-based methods, resulting in high surface roughness and aspect ratio-dependent etching rate. Furthermore, when small feature size and large feature size patterns co-exist in the same DOE design, the etching depth differs significantly in the same design, called reactive-ion etching (RIE) lag. All these artifacts lead to a reduction in the diffraction efficiency of DOEs. To overcome the drawbacks of etching-based fabrication methods, we propose an alternative method for fabricating DOEs without RIE lag and with improved surface smoothness. The method consists of additively growing multilevel microstructures of SiO2 material deposited by the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) method onto the substrate followed by liftoff. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the fabrication methods with representative DOEs for imaging and laser beam shaping applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41533-41545
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 4 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 OSA - The Optical Society. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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