## Abstract

Diffractive optical element design is an important problem for many applications and is usually achieved by the Gerchberg–Saxton or the Yang–Gu algorithm. These algorithms are formulated on the basis of monochromatic wave propagation and the far-field assumption, because the Fourier transform is used to model the wave propagation. We propose an iterative algorithm (based on rigorous coupled-wave analysis) for the design of a diffractive optical element. Since rigorous coupled-wave analysis (instead of Fourier transformation) is used to calculate the light-field distribution behind the optical element, the diffractive optical element can thus be better designed. Simulation results are provided to verify the proposed algorithm for designing a converging lens. Compared with the well-known Gerchberg–Saxton and Yang–Gu algorithms, our method provides 7.8% and 10.8%, respectively, improvement in converging the light amplitude when a microlens is desired. In addition, the proposed algorithm provides a solution that is very close to the solution obtained by the simulated annealing method (within 1.89% error).

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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