Bending The Light: New Techniques and Applications For Diffractive Optics

Diffractive optics is a well established field in the optical sciences. And yet, there has been a significant increase of interest in diffractive optics over the last couple of years. This is largely due to the adaptation of VLSI manufacturing techniques, such as photolithography and dry etching techniques used to fabricate the optical elements. The use of these techniques allows one to generate high quality elements that can be engineered for a variety of applications with more flexibility than it is possible with conventional fabrication techniques. To describe this new field of diffractive optics which deals with components generated by computer and lithographic fabrication, the term "binary optics" is often used.

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