The aim of this work is threefold: first we obtain analytical expressions for the wavefront train and the caustic associated with the refraction of a plane wavefront by an axicon lens, second we describe the structure of the ronchigram when the ronchiruling is placed at the flat surface of the axicon and the screen is placed at different relative positions to the caustic region, and third we describe in detail the structure of the null ronchigrating for this system; that is, we obtain the grating such that when it is placed at the flat surface of the axicon its associated pattern, at a given plane perpendicular to the optical axis, is a set of parallel fringes. We find that the caustic has only one branch, which is a segment of a line along the optical axis; the ronchigram exhibits self-intersecting fringes when the screen is placed at the caustic region, and the null ronchigrating exhibits closed loop rulings if we want to obtain its associated pattern at the caustic region.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
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