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Flat optics in high numerical aperture broadband imaging systems

 
: Werdehausen, D.; Burger, S.; Staude, I.; Pertsch, T.; Decker, M.

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Journal of optics 22 (2020), No.6, Art. 065607, 15 pp.
ISSN: 2040-8978
ISSN: 2040-8986
English
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()
berry phase; holograms; terahertz waves; diffractive optical elements; nanocomposites; optical design; optical systems design

Abstract
Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) remain highly underutilized in broadband optical systems even though different technologies for DOEs including échelette-type gratings (EGs), multilevel DOEs, and metagratings have been introduced. Specifically, nanocomposite-enabled EGs can achieve efficiencies of close to ${\rm{100\% }} $ throughout the visible spectrum, but only for relatively small diffraction angles. Therefore, the question remains if they are suitable for high-numerical-aperture (NA) systems. Here we show that this is indeed the case. To this end, we first demonstrate that macroscopic nanocomposite-enabled diffractive lenses (DLs) can achieve perfect broadband focusing up to a NA of 0.03. We then derive analytic relationships and investigate prototypical optical designs to show that this threshold fully covers the requirements of high-end imaging systems with ${\text{NA}} \geqslant 1.$ This holistic all-system analysis demonstrates that the individual NA of a DL in a broadband imaging system is one to two orders of magnitude lower than the overall system's NA. This shows that high-NA flat optical elements are not required for high-NA broadband systems. Therefore, nanocomposite-enabled EGs can unlock the full potential of DOEs for broadband optical systems, whereas other technologies cannot fulfill their high efficiency requirements.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-599679.html