Abstract

We present a procedure for designing rotationally symmetric pupil-plane masks to control the three-dimensional light-intensity distribution near focus. Our method is based on the use of a series of figures of merit that are properly defined to describe the effect of general complex pupil functions. As a practical implementation, we have applied our method to obtain superresolving continuous smoothly varying phase-only filters. The advantages of these kinds of filters are that they do not produce energy absorption and they are easy to build with a phase-controlling device such as a deformable mirror. Results of comparisons between the performance of our method and that of other phase-filter designs are provided.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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Figures (2)

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