We examine the role of processing errors on diffraction efficiency of binary optical elements and the validity of the Fourier
model to predict diffraction efficiency. We show that mask alignment error can significantly degrade efficiency. Models based
on the Fourier theory can adequately predict both the magnitude of diffraction efficiency and its sensitivity to processing errors
for optically slow elements (f/b). For optically fast elements (<f/2), a rigorous model is required for good predictive
accuracy. We use our model to indicate the sensitivity of diffraction efficiency to processing errors.© (1990) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.