Abstract

Axicons are known to produce a nearly Bessel beam transverse intensity distribution. It has been previously recognized that linear axicons and logarithmic axicons with a predefined distant depth of field (DOF) and no blocking present a development region characterized by an enlarged central spot size. In this paper, we aim to obtain a better insight on the formation of lateral light distribution in this development region. We also examine the spot size and transverse intensity distribution of the recently developed exponential axicon. We present experiments and detailed nonparaxial numerical simulations for a plane wave passing through these optical elements and show that the lateral intensity distribution they generate differs from that of a Bessel beam for a significant part of their DOF. This anomaly/irregularity in the formation of nondiffracting Bessel beams has to be taken into account in applications of these axicons, such as imaging or optical trapping.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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