We analyze the far-field intensity distribution of binary phase gratings whose strips present certain randomness in their height. A statistical analysis based on the mutual coherence function is done in the plane just after the grating. Then, the mutual coherence function is propagated to the far field and the intensity distribution is obtained. Generally, the intensity of the diffraction orders decreases in comparison to that of the ideal perfect grating. Several important limit cases, such as low- and high-randomness perturbed gratings, are analyzed. In the high-randomness limit, the phase grating is equivalent to an amplitude grating plus a “halo.” Although these structures are not purely periodic, they behave approximately as a diffraction grating.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
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