In industrial processes using fibre beam delivery of high peak power laser light, diffractive optical elements are a very useful and flexible tool in maximising the amount of light reaching the work surface. This is due to the ability of diffractive optical elements to accurately couple light into multiple fibres, while conditioning the light in order to maximise the throughput for each fibre. We discuss the design techniques for diffractive optical elements and the application of these techniques to fibre-coupling problems. The flexibility of diffractive optical elements is demonstrated by their application to several fibre-coupling geometries, including a fibre bundle, a linear array of fibres, and a rotationally symmetric fibre connector. The diffraction efficiencies for the elements approach 90% with uniformity errors of less than 5%. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Diffractive optics
- Fibre beam delivery