Multi-axis retarder arrays by masked oblique deposition

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Journal Article
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures, 2005, 23 (4), pp. 1398 - 1404
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We report a technique for single-deposition production of arrays with differently oriented nano-structured elements, which we optimize for application to form-birefringent retarder arrays. The technique involves masking of oblique physical vapor deposition, manipulating the local availability of vapor angles to create spatially variant properties in the structured coating. We have designed a variety of retarder arrays using symmetry considerations, and constructed a selection based on suitability for spatially multiplexed complete-Stokes polarimetry. In particular, we emphasize square lattice designs with a two-by-two repeat unit, consisting of three retarders with azimuths at 0°, 45° and 90° and a zero-retardation element. The silicon retarder arrays were tested using visible-wavelength transmission techniques which confirm the success of the method. Finally, we discuss some considerations for application of the technique to microlithography, and we infer a lateral resolution limit related to the coating thickness. © 2005 American Vacuum Society.
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