Femtosecond laser directed fabrication of optical diffusers†
Optical diffusers are widely used in filament lamps, imaging systems, display technologies, lasers, and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Here, a method for the fabrication of optical diffusers through femtosecond laser machining is demonstrated. Float glass surfaces were ablated with femtosecond laser light to form nanoscale ripples with dimensions comparable to the wavelength of visible light. These structures produce highly efficient and wide field of view diffusers. The machined patterns altered the average surface roughness, with the majority of particles in the range of a few hundred nanometers. The optical diffusion characteristic and a maximum diffusion angle of near 172° was achieved with optimum machining parameters. The transmission performance of the diffusers was measured to be ∼30% across the visible spectrum. The demonstrated technique has potential for producing low-cost large area optical devices. The process benefits from the flexibility of the laser writing method and enables the production of custom optical diffusers.