Certain high power laser applications require thin homogeneous laser lines. A possible concept to generate the necessary flat-top profile uses multi-aperture elements followed by a lens to recombine separated beamlets. Advantages of this concept are the independence from entrance intensity profile and achromaticity. However, the periodic structure and the overlapping of beamlets produce interference effects especially when highly coherent light is used. Random optical elements that diffuse only in one direction can reduce the contrast of the interference pattern. Losses due to undesired diffusion in large angles have to be minimized to maintain a good quality and high efficiency of beam shaping. We have fabricated diffusers made of fused silica for a wide range of wavelengths that diffuse only in one direction. Structures are based on an array of concave cylindrical microlenses with locally varying size and position following a well defined statistical distribution. The scattering angle can be influenced by process parameters and is typically between 1° and 60°. To predict the influence of process parameters on the optical properties, a simplified model for the fabrication process and geometrical optics have been used. Characterization of the fabricated devices was done by stylus measurements for the surface shapes, microinterferometry to measure phase profiles and high resolution goniometry to obtain far field distribution of light. The simulated data compare very well to measured optical properties. Based on our simulation tool we discuss limits of our fabrication method and optimal fabrication parameters.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.