Rotationally tunable diffractive optical elements (DOEs) consist of two stacked diffractive optical elements which are rotated with respect to each other around their central optical axis. The combined diffractive element acts as a highly efficient diffractive lens, which changes its optical power as a function of the mutual rotation angle. Here we show that the principle can be extended to produce polychromatic tunable lenses, i.e. lenses which have the same optical power, and the same diffraction efficiency within the full tuning range at three or more selectable wavelengths. The basic principle is to use higher order DOEs, which will be polychromatic at harmonics of a fundamental wavelength. The method can be applied to other types of optical elements which are tunable by rotation, like axicons, or generalized lenses with arbitrary radial phase profiles, or to elements tunable by a mutual translation, like diffractive Alvarez lenses.
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