Abstract

The diffraction-limited spot size limits the optical disk storage capacity and microscopic resolution. We describe a technique to shape a focused Gaussian beam into a superresolving beam by using a diffractive optical element fabricated by laser-assisted chemical etching. The focused shaped beam has a smaller width and a longer depth of focus than a similarly focused Gaussian beam. Using the diffraction-limited shaped beam along with threshold writing, we achieved a written pit size of less than 0.33 µm at a 695-nm laser wavelength, compared with a 0.7-µm focused Gaussian spot size (full width at e -2 of the peak) with the same focusing lens. The energy conversion efficiency for the beam shaping was ∼81%.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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