Focusing properties of transverse circular polarization modes that bring light to a small focal spot are investigated. Two particular illumination polarization distributions are discussed. Rotating electric dipole polarization results in a central lobe diameter 8% smaller than for the circularly polarized aplanatic case at a NA of 0.95 in air and is also smaller than for radial polarization at NAs less than 0.90. Azimuthal polarization with a phase singularity of charge unity results in a small central lobe width that is smaller than that produced by focusing radially polarized light, having a width that is 17% smaller than for circularly polarized illumination at a NA of 0.95.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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