Abstract

Kant reported [J. Mod. Optics 47, 905 (2000) ] a formulation for solving the inverse problem of vector diffraction, which accurately models high-NA focusing. Here, Kant’s formulation is adapted to the method of generalized projections to obtain an algorithm for designing diffractive optical elements (DOEs) that reshape the axial point-spread function (PSF). The algorithm is applied to design a binary phase-only DOE that superresolves the axial PSF with controlled increase in axial sidelobes. An 11-zone DOE is identified that axially narrows the PSF central lobe by 29% while maintaining the sidelobe intensity at or below 52% of the peak intensity. This DOE could improve the resolution achievable in several applications without significantly complicating the optical system.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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