We quantify the impact of eye clearance requirement on the performance of eyepieces utilizing doublets versus diffractive optical elements on aspheric substrates. In this study, the doublets were designed to be cemented on-axis elements. Specifically, four different values of eye clearance were implemented: 17, 20, 23, and . For each value, axial and lateral color, spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, field curvature, and distortion were compared. Each system under comparison was optimized for the same focal length, a exit pupil, photopic wavelengths , and a 40° full field of view. We demonstrate that the single-layer diffractive optical element supports an eye clearance value of approximately 80% of the effective focal length, while the doublet drops below desired specifications at approximately 65% of the effective focal length.
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