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DPSS Lasers for Optical Grating Mastering

What is optical grating mastering?

Optical grating mastering is the first step in creating diffraction gratings. These gratings are microscopic, closely-spaced parallel lines or grooves etched onto an optical surface. They play a vital role in various applications by manipulating light in specific ways.

Optical grating mastering involves creating a high-precision pattern of lines or grooves on a substrate, typically glass or a specialised optical coating. This master pattern serves as the mould for replicating the grating onto other materials.

The success of the finalgrating  depends on the accuracy and consistency of the master. Even the slightet variation in groove spacing, depth or parallelism can significantly affect the grating's performance.

How optical grating mastering works

There are two primary techniques:

Ruled grating mastering: A diamond tool is used to physically scratch a pattern into a substrate's surface. This method can be accurate, but can bve time-consuming and highly susceptible to mechanical imperfections.

Holographic grating mastering: Two coherent laser beams interfere with each other on a photosensitive material, creating a periodic intensity pattern that is then transferred to the substrate. This method is faster and produces smoother gratings using a specialist laser, such as our NX series DPSS lasers.

Why mastering matters:


Quality Control: The master grating sets the standard for all sub sequent replications. High-quality mastering ensures consistent and reliable performance across all the produced gratings.

A Range of Applications including spectroscopy, wavelength filtering, beam shaping and laser tuning. A well-made master is crucial for the success of these applications.

Why Lasers are essential for Optical Grating Mastering

Coherent light source

Holographic mastering relies on the interference of light waves to create the desired grating pattern. Lasers provide the ideal light source because they are highly coherent, meaning their light waves are all in sync in terms of frequency and phase. This coherence is crucial for generating a precise and well-defined interference pattern.


Lasers emit light with a single, well-defined wavelength. This monochromaticity ensures that the spacing of the fringes in the interference pattern translates directly to the spacing of the grooves on the final grating. Any variation in wavelength could lead to inconsistencies in the grating structure.

Controllable beam properties

The properties of the laser beam, such as its intensity and spatial profile, can be precisely controlled. This allows for fine-tuning of the interference pattern and tailoring it to create gratings with specific groove depths, shapes, and periodicities.

Faster and smoother mastering

Compared to traditional ruled grating mastering with a diamond tool, holographic mastering using lasers is generally faster. Additionally, it can produce gratings with smoother surfaces and more uniform groove profiles, leading to better performance in the final grating.


The properties of the laser beam, such as its intensity and wavelength, can be precisely controlled. This allows the beam overlap area to be fine-tuned so the interference pattern can be tailored to the exact size and shape required.

This is how it works:

Beam Splitting: A laser beam is split into two coherent beams.
Interference Pattern Creation: The two beams are directed to intersect on a photosensitive material (like a photoresist). Their interaction creates an interference pattern of alternating high and low intensity regions.
Pattern Transfer: The photosensitive material is then processed to solidify the high-intensity regions, essentially creating a replica of the interference pattern on the surface.
Grating Etching: The pattern on the photosensitive material is used as a mask to etch the desired grating structure onto the final substrate (typically glass or a specialized optical coating).

Skylark Lasers are ideal for optical grating mastering

The Skylark Lasers NX series single frequency DPSS lasers find applications in several optical grating mastering processes due to their ultra-stable output, coherence, and precision. Our lasers are essential for creating high quality optical gratings using various mastering techniques and applications.

our ultra-stable, high precision laser sources support our customers' work across several optical grating mastering applications.


  • Grating-based sensors

  • Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs)

  • Diffractive optical elements (DOEs)

  • Diffraction grating fabrication

  • Holography

  • Spectroscopy

  • Interferometry

  • Lithography

Skylark Lasers DPSS NX Series

Let us tailor your perfect laser solution

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