Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Flat dielectric grating reflectors with focusing abilities


Sub-wavelength dielectric gratings have emerged recently as a promising alternative to distributed Bragg reflection dielectric stacks for broadband, high-reflectivity filtering applications. Such a grating structure composed of a single dielectric layer with the appropriate patterning can sometimes perform as well as 30 or 40 dielectric distributed Bragg reflection layers, while providing new functionalities such as polarization control and near-field amplification. In this Letter, we introduce an interesting property of grating mirrors that cannot be realized by their distributed Bragg reflection counterpart: we show that a non-periodic patterning of the grating surface can give full control over the phase front of reflected light while maintaining a high reflectivity. This new feature of dielectric gratings allows the creation of miniature planar focusing elements that could have a substantial impact on a number of applications that depend on low-cost, compact optical components, from laser cavities to CD/DVD read/write heads.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Magnitude-squared and phase of the reflection coefficient from a one-dimensional silicon grating.
Figure 2: Numerical simulation of a 50-µm-aperture focusing reflector with NA = 0.45, featuring an 8π differential phase shift from centre to edge.
Figure 3: Optical microscope picture of a fabricated spherical SWG mirror.
Figure 4: Experimental results.


  1. Wang, S. S., Magnusson, R., Bagby, J. S. & Moharam, M. G. Guided-mode resonances in planar dielectric-layer diffraction gratings. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 1470–1474 (1990).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Wang, S. S. & Magnusson, R. Theory and applications of guided-mode resonance filters. Appl. Opt. 32, 2606–2613 (1993).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Magnusson, R. & Wang, S. S. New principle for optical filters. Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 1022–1024 (1992).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Magnusson, R., Ding, Y., Lee, K. J., Priambodo, P. S. & Wawro, D. Characteristics of resonant leaky mode biosensors. Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Eng. 6008, 1–10 (2005).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Fattal, D., Sigalas, M., Pyayt, A., Li, Z. & Beausoleil, R. G. Guided-mode resonance sensor with extended spatial sensitivity. Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Eng. 6640, 1–11 (2007).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Mateus, C., Huang, M., Deng, Y., Neureuther, A. & Chang-Hasnain, C. Ultrabroadband mirror using low-index cladded subwavelength grating. IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 518–520 (2004).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Mateus, C., Huang, M., Chen, L., Chang-Hasnain, C. & Suzuki, Y. Broad-band mirror (1.12–1.62 µm) using a subwavelength grating. IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1676–1678 (2004).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Huang, M., Zhou, Y. & Chang-Hasnain, C. A surface-emitting laser incorporating a high-index-contrast subwavelength grating. Nature Photon. 1, 119–122 (2007).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Huang, M. C. Y., Zhou, Y. & Chang-Hasnain, C. J. Single mode high-contrast subwavelength grating vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 171108 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Jung, I., Kim, S. & Solgaard, O. High reflectivity broadband photonic crystal mirror MEMS scanner. in IEEE Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference 2007 (TRANS-DUCERS 2007) 1513–1516 (2007).

  11. Huang, M. C. Y., Zhou, Y. & Chang-Hasnain, C. J. A nanoelectromechanical tunable laser. Nature Photon. 2, 180–184 (2008).

  12. Li, L. New formulation of the Fourier modal method for crossed surface relief gratings. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 2758–2767 (1997).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. Avrutsky, I. A. & Sychugov, V. A. Reflection of a beam of finite size from a corrugated waveguide. J. Mod. Opt. 36, 1527–1539 (1989).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. Nishiwaki, S., Asada, J. & Uchida, S. Optical head employing a concentric-circular focusing grating coupler. Appl. Opt. 33, 1819–1827 (1994).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. Eriksson, N., Hagberg, M. & Larsson, A. Highly directional grating outcouplers with tailorable radiation characteristics. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 1038–1047 (1996).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  16. Eriksson, N., Hagberg, M. & Larsson, A. Electron-beam defined surface gratings in algaas with precisely controlled duty cycle using a multiple line exposure technique. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 14, 184–186 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



D.F. and J.L. developed the initial wavefront control concept and reflector design, and provided the results of the numerical simulations. Z.P. carried out the device fabrication, and M.F. conducted the optical testing. R.G.B. supervised and coordinated the project. All authors contributed to the data analysis. D.F., J.L. and R.G.B. prepared the manuscript with input from M.F. and Z.P.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Fattal.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fattal, D., Li, J., Peng, Z. et al. Flat dielectric grating reflectors with focusing abilities. Nature Photon 4, 466–470 (2010).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing