Abstract

An optimization-free method based on an inverse problem of nonlinear equations is employed to design the binary phase diffraction optical element (BPDOE) that could modulate the incident light of a high-numerical-aperture (NA) objective lens so that the axisymmetric focal fields can be customized on demand. For example, a ${{43}}\lambda$-long optical longitudinally polarized needle with its lateral size beyond diffraction limit is reported by using a 27-belt BPDOE, where the cost evaluated by the ratio of the belt number of BPDOE to the length of needle is record small compared with other optimization algorithms. Moreover, another longitudinal field with multiple hotspots along the propagation direction of light is also achieved with a 10-belt BPDOE. These achieved focal fields are verified doubly by using a finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, indicating the validity of Richards–Wolf vector diffraction theory. This optimization-free approach makes the design of BPDOEs with numerous belts viable to generate the expected focal fields, which might benefit various applications such as optical trapping, super-resolution imaging, and lithography.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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