3D printing-based diffractive optical element fabrication

Prof. Yoav Shechtman | Biomedical Engineering


Chemistry and Materials | Physics and Electro-Optics

The Technology

Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs) are used to shape the wavefront of incident light in complex patterns, and are ubiquitous across optical applications, ranging from laser processing through lithography to communication and imaging. Example applications include beam splitters, beam shapers, optical gratings, thin diffractive lenses, wavefront shapers for microscopy, vortex plates, aberration-correcting elements for high-end imaging systems, dispersive elements, and more. Despite their popularity, fabricating DOEs is non-trivial, mostly due to their nanoscale-precision requirements, necessitating highly precise, expensive and cumbersome fabrication methods (typically using photolithography), which are also limited in the design flexibility they allow. A new method was developed to enable simple, fast, and high-quality fabrication of DOEs, by combining 3D printing with near-index matching, based on a ‘sandwich’ of different optically transparent materials. This resulted DOEs are comparable in performance to the state-of-the art, yet manufactured at a fraction of the cost and time.


  • Drastically simplifying the fabrication process
  • Cost effective and fast manufacturing process
  • Alleviating the need for a cleanroom environment
  • Flexibility in design, including sharp discontinuities

Applications and Opportunities

  • Imaging systems, microscopy, laser processing, communication and other applications requiring accurate DOEs


arrow Business Development Contacts
Shikma Litmanovitz
Director of Business Development, Physical Science