Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) utilizes a surface with complex microstructure and divides the laser beam in an energy-efficient way. It allows the user to control the phase across the aperture and design the complicated intensity profiles accordingly.

So here are the top five applications of Diffractive Optical Elements that are commonly used:

Microlenses Array: Microlens arrays are defined as the combination of two or more small lenses, surrounded by stiff materials like metal or polymer followed by a coating of an anti-reflection liquid on both sides.

Some common uses of microlens array are:

  • Increasing the light collection efficiency of CCD arrays.
  • Acting as an optics corrector for high power diode laser stacks and brightness.
  • Used in compact imaging devices and digital projectors to focus light on the active areas of the LCD.

Metalenses: Metalens can be defined as a flat surface that uses nanostructures to equally focus wavelengths of light and eliminate chromatic aberration. Due to its robust features, Metalens has the potential to replace bulky and curved lenses. They are thin, cost-effective, and easy to fabricate.

Optical Diffusers: An optical diffuser is an element that evenly scatters light by effectively removing the high-intensity spots. They are mainly used to soften the overall shape of illumination, and thereby produce a random profile surface. These diffusers work on the principle of reflection and refraction, and the surface is created by the process of holographic exposure, lithography, and sandblasting.

Beam Splitters: It is an optical device used to split the incident beam of light into two parts at any angle. Further, they are coated or laminated with the substrate materials that allow the splitter to withhold a high laser pulse. Major industries where beam splitters are used are interferometers, fiber couplers, auto correlators, photo cameras and so on.

Wire Grid Polarizers: Polarizers are one of the important applications of diffractive optics that polarizes the light by transmitting it on a specific state. It can be a game-changer for industries where high extinction ratios, high operating temperatures, high transmission, and broad bandwidth ranges are needed. They can be used for a variety of applications such as illumination, laser optics, high-lumen projectors, measurement systems, and imaging devices.

Diffractive optics is being used in almost every major industry. Its more advancement is yet to be witnessed in fields like medical science, biomedical devices, laser material processing, holography, lithography, and optical sensors.