Volume-Phase Holographic (VPH) Gratings

NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation

Volume-phase holographic multiplex grating illuminated by candle light. Two spectra are visible due to the fact that this element contains two individual gratings.

This is the Web site for the NSF funded evaluation of Volume-Phase Holographic (VPH) gratings.

A joint venture between Dr. Samuel C. Barden at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) and Willis S. Colburn and James A. Arns at Kaiser Optical Systems, Inc. (KOSI) is funded by the National Science Foundation to explore the application of VPH gratings in astronomy.

These gratings show many promising advantages over the classical diffraction gratings that are currently in use in most astronomical spectrographs. Among the benefits are:

Please click the following to go to a full report on the grating evaluation study: NSF Study.


"Volume-Phase Holographic Gratings and the Efficiency of Three Simple VPH Gratings". The first in a series of papers addressing the results of the NSF study has been accepted for publication in the June 2000 issue of the Publications of the Astronomical Society. This paper covers the results for first-order transmission gratings with line frequencies of 300, 1200, and 2400 l/mm.

"Astronomical Applications of Volume-Phase Holographic Gratings" (Barden, Arns, and Colburn 1999, Proc. SPIE, 3749:52-53). This paper was presented at the 18th Congress of the International Commission for Optics - Optics for the Next Millennium in San Francisco on Monday, August 2, 1999.

"Volume phase gratings for spectroscopy, ultrafast laser compressors, and wavelength division multiplexing" (Arns, Colburn, and Barden 1999, Proc. SPIE, 3779:313) was presented on July 21, 1999, at the SPIE International Symposium on Optical Science, Engineering, and Instrumentation in Denver, CO.

AAS Poster. A poster presented at the June, 1999, AAS meeting.

"Tunable Gratings: Imaging the Universe in 3-D with Volume-Phase Holographic Gratings" was presented at the "Imaging the Universe in Three Dimensions: Astrophysics with Advanced Multi-Wavelength Imaging Devices" Conference held in March, 1999. The proceedings will be edited by W. van Breugel and J. Bland-Hawthorn and published in the ASP Conference Series, volume 195, currently in press.

"Volume-phase holographic gratings and their potential for astronomical applications" . An early evaluation and description of VPH gratings presented at the 1998 Kona SPIE meeting. The paper is published in "Optical Astronomical Instrumentation", ed. S. D'Odorico, Proc. SPIE, 3355:866-876.



Here are links to other studies and instrumentation projects which currently utilize or anticipate the use of this grating technology.


Here are links to possible grating vendors (NOTE: NOAO only has experience with the KOSI products).


Here are some links for further info on Dichromated Gelatin.

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Updated: 6/11/99