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Opt Lett. 2011 Jun 15;36(12):2354-6. doi: 10.1364/OL.36.002354.

Nanostructured gradient-index antireflection diffractive optics.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We describe the fabrication and characterization of a nanostructured diffractive element with near-zero reflection losses. In this element, subwavelength nanostructures emulating adiabatic index matching are integrated on the surface of a diffractive microstructure to suppress reflected diffraction orders. The fabricated silicon grating exhibits reflected efficiencies that are suppressed by 2 orders of magnitude over broad wavelength bands and wide incident angles. Theoretical models of the fabricated structure based on rigorous coupled-wave analysis and effective medium theory are in agreement with the experimental data. The proposed principles can be applied to improve the performance of any diffractive structures, potentially leading to more efficient Fresnel lenses, holographic elements, and integrated optical systems.

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