Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971712

Proposal Number: 27.03-9191

Project Title: Proximity Printing of Micro-Optics Using Phase Shifting Masks

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

NASA has expressed a need for innovative fabrication methods for diffractive optical elements (DOE's). Such innovations are needed to fully exploit the inherent possibilities of DOE's to increase performance and to reduce the size, weight, and cost of optical systems. A prevalent limitation of diffractive technology is the inability to fabricate components with small enough feature sizes for optimum performance for many designs, particularly over large surface areas. DOC is proposing an innovative approach for fabrication of micro-optical components that makes use of the interference properties of phase shifting masks (PSM's). PSM's are used to introduce a controlled interference effect to lithographic exposures to enhance the effective resolution and depth of focus. While PSM techniques have seen extensive use in the microelectronics industry, these methods have not been applied to fabrication of diffractive and micro-optical components. Using this approach, it will be possible to make optics with smaller features and periodicities than can be made with conventional technologies. In addition, it is feasible to use interference effects to manufacture micro-optics with new properties and structures that are not practical to fabricate with more conventional methods. These methods should provide a cost-efficient method of fabricating submicron diffractive structures over large surface areas.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

Development of the fabrication techniques outlined herein will benefit a range of industries, including the telecommunications and laser machining markets. Other industries that use anti-reflection coatings for high-powered laser applications will also benefit.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Thomas Suleski

Digital Optics Corporation

5900 Northwoods Business Pkwy, Suite J

Charlotte , NC 28269

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Eric Johnson

Digital Optics Corporation

5900 Northwoods Business Pkwy, Suite J

Charlotte , NC 28269