Abstract

We present a theoretical approach to generate a nondiffracting beam with extended depth of focus (DOF) and a smaller focal spot along the optical axis, by tight focusing of an azimuthally polarized beam with a circular symmetrical binary phase mask and an interference effect over a high-numerical-aperture (NA) lens axicon system. We find a general azimuthal diffraction integral for the circularly symmetric binary phase mask and examine it in two special cases: a high-NA lens and a high-NA lens axicon. The azimuthally polarized beam remains well behaved in both cases. We verify that the longitudinal component generated by azimuthally polarized illumination produces the narrowest spot size for a wide range of geometries. Finally, we discuss the effects of tight focusing on a dielectric interface and provide some ideas for circumventing the effects of the binary phase mask interface and even utilize them for spot size reduction.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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