A shallow-etched, distributed grating is proposed as a wavelength demultiplexer. The distributed grating constitutes a structure with completely decoupled reflective and diffractive properties. The theory behind the layout of the distributed grating is presented. The structure is modeled using RCWA and FDTD. Modeling results predict up to 79% efficiency over a 60nm wavelength range. Device fabrication results are presented. Early optical characterization of a test structure confirms the expected behavior for the device.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.