Abstract

An axially super-resolved quasi-spherical focal spot can be generated by focusing an amplitude-modulated radially polarized beam through a high numerical aperture objective. A method based on the unique depolarization pro perties of a circular focus is proposed to design the amplitude modulation. The generated focal spot shows a ratio of xyz=111.48 for the normalized FWHM in three dimensions, compared to that of xyz=10.741.72 under linear polarization (in the x direction) illumination. Moreover, the focusable light efficiency of the designed amplitude-modulated beam is 65%, which is more than 3 times higher than the optimized case under linear polarization and thus make the amplitude-modulated radial polarization beam more suitable for a wide range of applications.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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