Mid-infrared volume diffraction gratings in IG2 chalcogenide glass: Fabrication, characterization, and theoretical verification

Helen L. Butcher, David Guillaume MacLachlan, David Lee, Richard A. Brownsword, Robert R. Thomson, Damien Weidmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrafast laser inscription (ULI) has previously been employed to fabricate volume diffraction gratings in chalcogenide glasses, which operate in transmission mode in the mid-infrared spectral region. Prior gratings were manufactured for applications in astrophotonics, at wavelengths around 2.5 μm. Rugged volume gratings also have potential use in remote atmospheric sensing and molecular spectroscopy; for these applications, longer wavelength operation is required to coincide with atmospheric transparency windows (3-5 μm) and intense ro-vibrational molecular absorption bands. We report on ULI gratings inscribed in IG2 chalcogenide glass, enabling access to the full 3-5 μm window. High-resolution broadband spectral characterization of fabricated gratings was performed using a Fourier transform spectrometer. The zeroth order transmission was characterized to derive the diffraction efficiency into higher orders, up to the fourth orders in the case of gratings optimized for first order diffraction at 3 μm. The outcomes imply that ULI in IG2 is well suited for the fabrication of volume gratings in the mid infrared, providing the impact of the ULI fabrication parameters on the grating properties are well understood. To develop this understanding, grating modeling was conducted. Parameters studied include grating thickness, refractive index modification, and aspect ratio of the modulation achieved by ULI. Knowledge of the contribution and sensitivity of these parameters was used to inform the design of a 4.3 μm grating expected to achieve > 95% first order efficiency. We will also present the characterization of these latest mid-infrared diffraction gratings in IG2.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Components and Materials XV
EditorsShibin Jiang, Michael J. F. Digonnet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510615427
ISBN (Print)9781510615410
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


  • Chalcogenide
  • Grating
  • Mid-infrared
  • Transmission grating
  • Ultrafast laser inscription
  • Volume diffraction grating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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