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10 May 1986 Varied Line-Space Gratings: Past, Present And Future
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A classically ruled diffraction grating consists of grooves which are equidistant, straight and parallel. Conversely the so-called "holographic" grating ( formed by the interfering waves of coherent visible light ) , although severely constrained by the recording wavelength and recording geometry, has grooves which are typically neither equidistant, straight nor parallel. In contrast a varied line-space (VLS) grating, in common nomenclature, is a design in which the groove positions are relatively unconstrained yet possess sufficient symmetry to permit mechanical ruling. Such seemingly exotic gratings are no longer only a theoretical curiosity, but have been ruled and used in a wide variety of applications. These include 1) aberration-corrected normal incidence concave gratings for Seya-Namioka monochromators and optical demultiplexers, 2) flat-field grazing incidence concave gratings for plasma diagnostics, 3) aberration-corrected grazing incidence plane gratings for space-borne spectrometers, 4) focusing grazing incidence plane grating for synchrotron radiation monochromators, and 5) wavefront generators for visible interferometry of optical surfaces (particularly aspheres). Future prospects of VLS gratings as dispersing elements, wavefront correctors and beamsplitters appear promising. I discuss the history of VLS gratings, their present applications and their potential in the future.
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Michael C. Hettrick "Varied Line-Space Gratings: Past, Present And Future", Proc. SPIE 0560, Diffraction Phenomena in Optical Engineering Applications, (10 May 1986);

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