We describe a new concept for producing, on a single substrate, a 2D array of optical interference filters where the pass-band of each element can be independently specified. The interference filter is formed by optically contacting two dielectric mirrors so that the top quarter-wave films of the two mirrors form a Fabry-Perot cavity having a half-wave thickness. In the new device, we propose to etch an array of subwavelength patterns into the top surface of one of the mirrors before forming the cavity. The patterns must have a pitch shorter than the operational wavelength in order to eliminate diffraction. By changing the index of refraction of the half-wave layer, or the optical thickness of the cavity, the patterning is used to shift the pass-band and form an array of interference filters. One approach to producing the array is to change the fill factor of the pattern. Once the filter array is produced it may be mated to a 2D detector array to form a miniature spectrophotometer.© (1995) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.