We present and analyze new multifocal optical elements based on an annular distribution of the transmittance. These elements provide selectable number of foci and can be designed to work between two fixed positions or even to provide extended focal depth. The energy of the foci can be modulated through a single parameter that controls the area of each ring. In our study we analyze the quality of the peaks and also the limit number of foci that can be obtained. The properties shown by these elements make them usable in instrumental optics or in ophthalmic optics, as new intraocular implants, where multifocal elements are required. The implementation has been done on a twisted nematic spatial light modulator, thus allowing real time reconfiguration of the element.
©2008 Optical Society of America
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