A generalized confocal imaging system, which is composed of two confocal lenses and one field lens, is proposed for free-space optical interconnections. Unlike in a conventional 4-<i>f</i> system, both the object distance and the image distance can be almost arbitrarily chosen. This advantage is especially important for practical setups in which the object distance and the image distance cannot be designed to be the same. As a concrete example, we have designed and experimentally tested a planar-integrated micro-optical imaging system. The result is in good agreement with the theoretical prediction. Similarly to the conventional 4-<i>f</i> imaging system and the light-pipe imaging system, the system proposed here can also be used as one important part of a hybrid imaging setup.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(080.2730) Geometric optics : Matrix methods in paraxial optics
(110.1650) Imaging systems : Coherence imaging
(200.4650) Optics in computing : Optical interconnects
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
Qing Cao, Matthias Gruber, and Jürgen Jahns, "Generalized Confocal Imaging Systems for Free-Space Optical Interconnections," Appl. Opt. 43, 3306-3309 (2004)