Explain the pro/cons of blazed gratings in simple terms?
Blazed gratings are used by manufacturing companies to increase the gain of an optical sensor over a very small (generally less than 10 nm) portion of the spectrum. Blazed grating are extremely expensive. The initial mold could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Becuaes of this Amateurs and most companies that build equipment for Amateurs select a blazed grating that is already in use and they modify their intended use, sometimes to the detriment of their end user, to produce a product for the Amateur market. A blazed grating concentrates both wings of a spectrum into a single order. The theoretical gain is two (2) but in practice the gain is closer to 80% at the blaze wavelength. The blaze wavelength is typically a narrow bandwidth of around 100 Angstroms wide (sometimes its only a few Angstroms wide). In this narrow band the gain in one of the first order spectrum wings approaches 180%. The gain outside of this blaze bandwidth drops off rapidly. Most blazed gratings have their bandwi