Abstract

We show that, by adding a π-phase shift to one-half of a linearly polarized beam, the roles of the transversal and longitudinal field components of the focused beam are interchanged, resulting in better focusing of the longitudinal component in the direction perpendicular to the phase jump line. For this component the scheme produces a spot with FWHM >15% smaller than a spot generated with either linearly or radially polarized light for any NA. The scheme has a similar advantage when applied to circularly polarized light, and it holds for both a plane wave and a realistic case of a Gaussian incident beam. This technique may find applications when using recording media responsive to the longitudinal field only, particularly in read/write for optical storage where the resolution in one transverse dimension is most important.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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