Abstract

The track pitch of current optical disks is comparable with the wavelength of the laser source. In this domain of the pitch-to-wavelength ratio, the complex-diffraction amplitudes are different for different incident polarization states, and the validity of the scalar diffraction theory is questionable. Furthermore, the use of multilayer coatings and high-numerical-aperture beams in modern optical disk technology inevitably entails the excitation of surface waves, which can disturb the baseball pattern significantly. To describe the interaction of a focused beam with a grooved multilayer system fully, it is necessary to have a rigorous vector theory. We use a rigorous vector theory to model the diffraction of light at the optical disk. We present the simulation and the experimental results and demonstrate the ability of this approach to predict or model accurately all essential features of beam–disk interaction, including the polarization effects and the excitation of surface waves.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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