One can control the aberrations of an optical readout system by varying the width of a strip of antireflection coatings deposited upon plastic objective lenses. It is found that one can control the magnitude of the third-order astigmatism of the system by changing the coating width. This process has the advantage that it does not significantly cause other kinds of aberration such as coma and spherical aberrations to deteriorate. When these nonrotational symmetrically (NRS) coated lenses are used for off-axis operations such as tracking movements in optical drives, the change in the magnitude of the astigmatism (ΔAS) that is generated can be made smaller than those of symmetrically coated or noncoated lenses. As much as a 73% decrease in ΔAS was observed experimentally with a NRS-coated lens. Including the birefringence of the plastic material in the analysis yields a low and constant level of astigmatism generated by shifting of the objective lens.
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