The Microdevices Laboratory develops electron-beam lithography techniques to fabricate unique nanostructures and optics that enable JPL instruments to perform novel measurements and achieve unmatched performance.
A variety of JPL flight and research projects rely on our capability to fabricate special-purpose components for NASA and non-NASA instruments. We have developed nano patterning processes for fabricating both binary-layered and grayscale surface-relief structures in a variety of polymers, dielectrics, metals, and substrate materials. This allows creation of nearly arbitrary transmissive and reflective diffractive optics such as blazed gratings, lenses, and computer-generated holograms, for wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet to long-wave infrared.
Further, we have developed custom e-beam calibration techniques, substrate mounting fixtures, and pattern preparation software to allow fabrication of these diffractive optics on non-flat (convex or concave) substrates with several millimeters of height variation. This has enabled the fabrication of high-performance convex and concave diffraction gratings for Offner- and Dyson-type imaging spectrometers that have been used for many airborne and spaceborne instruments.