Optical EngineeringVirtual gray-scale mask for fabrication of micro-optical elements via focused ion beam direct writing
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A new fabrication approach, virtual gray-scale mask via focused ion beam (FIB) direct milling for fabrication of micro-optical elements (MOEs), is introduced. The designed MOEs, e.g., micro-diffractive lenses with continuous relief and micro-gratings, are directly milled by the FIB by means of the method of the virtual gray-scale mask with ion energy and ion beam current of 30 keV and 3 nA, respectively. The method has a one-step fabrication process and is free of user computer programming for the one-step direct writing. It is a useful approach for those FIB machines without the user programming function. It will be helpful for integration of MOEs with top-end optical fibers for applications of miniaturization of spectrometers, optical fiber sensors, and micro-optical systems in biochemistry analysis use.