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Design and optimization of a dispersive unit based on cascaded volume phase holographic gratings


We describe a dispersive unit consisting of cascaded volume-phase holographic gratings for spectroscopic applications. Each of the gratings provides high diffractive efficiency in a relatively narrow wavelength range and transmits the rest of the radiation to the 0th order of diffraction. The spectral lines formed by different gratings are centered in the longitudal direction and separated in the transverse direction due to tilt of the gratings around two axes. We consider a technique of design and optimization of such a scheme. It allows to define modulation of index of refraction and thickness of the holographic layer for each of the gratings as well as their fringes frequencies and inclination angles. At the first stage the gratings parameters are found approximately using analytical expressions of Kogelnik's coupled wave theory. Then each of the grating starting from the longwave sub-range is optimized separately by using of numerical optimization procedure and rigorous coupled wave analysis to achieve a high diffraction efficiency profile with a steep shortwave edge. In parallel such targets as ray aiming and linear dispersion maintenance are controlled by means of ray tracing. We demonstrate this technique on example of a small-sized spectrograph for astronomical applications. It works in the range of 500-650 nm and uses three gratings covering 50 nm each. It has spectral resolution of 6130 - 12548. Obtaining of the asymmetrical efficiency curve is shown with use of dichromated gelatin and a photopolymer. Change of the curve shape allows to increase filling coefficient for the target sub-range up to 2.3 times.