Diffraction Gratings are optical components used to separate light into its component wavelengths. Diffraction Gratings are used in spectroscopy, or for integration into spectrophotometers or monochromators. Diffraction Gratings consist of a series of closely packed grooves that have been engraved or etched into the Grating’s surface. Diffraction Gratings can be either transmissive or reflective. As light transmits through or reflects off a Grating, the grooves cause the light to diffract, dispersing the light into its component wavelengths. Diffraction Gratings should be handled with care due to soft coatings and should not be cleaned without consultation.
Edmund Optics offers a wide range of transmission or reflection Gratings for the Ultraviolet (UV), Visible, or Infrared (IR) regions. When manufactured, a master Grating is used to create replicas of itself. The manufacturing process determines the type of Grating. A Ruled Grating consists of a series of grooves that have been ruled into the surface of a master grating utilizing a fine diamond tool. Ruled Gratings are used in applications that require high efficiency. Holographic Gratings are manufactured using the interference fringe field of two laser beams. Holographic Gratings are ideal for applications that require minimal stray light.
What are diffraction gratings?
A diffraction grating separates polychromatic (or multiple wavelengths) light into its component wavelengths by diffraction. Diffraction is a process in which light incident to a surface with dimensions similar in size to its wavelength is dispersed at certain angles. These diffraction angles are dependent upon the wavelength of light. Thus, polychromatic light will have a separate diffraction angle for each individual wavelength. This difference in diffraction angle is what separates light into its component wavelengths.