July 1,2005 / Vol.30, No.13 / OPTICS LETTERS, 1617-1619

Copyright © 2005 Optical Society of America

Area coded effective medium (ACE) structures, a new type of grating design

Bernd H. Kleemann a, R. Arnold b, J. Ruoff a

a Carl Zeiss, D-73446 Oberkochen, and
b Carl Zeiss SMT AG, D-73447 Oberkochen

We propose a new way to design gratings with desired diffraction properties by using subwavelength feature sizes in the direction of the grooves. Using modulated contiguous subwavelength features, an arbitrary effective index distribution can be generated along the direction of the grating period. Because the subwavelength features form contiguous areas, they are called Area Coded Effective medium (ACE) structures, in short: ACES. Compared with well known binary subwavelength structures in 2d-arrangements, such as ridges and pillars, ACES are more stable and have comparable efficiency properties. As an example we show how to design a 4 level ACE grating, compare the efficiency of ACES and binary gratings with blaze properties and optimize the subwavelength period of the ACES.

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