Abstract

Recently, Dorn et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 233901 (2003)] demonstrated the significance of radially polarized doughnut beams in obtaining very small focal spots (with an area of 0.26λ2) with high-numerical-aperture (NA) aplanatic microscope objectives. We propose two simple alternative ways to focus such radially polarized beams: a parabolic mirror and a flat diffractive lens. Because of their large apodization factor for a high NA, a significant further reduction in spot area (up to a factor of 1.76 at a NA of 1) compared with the aplanatic system can be achieved.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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