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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 32 — Nov. 10, 2009
  • pp: 6259–6263

Design considerations for low-light level low-Fresnel number optical systems

Christoph Baranec  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 32, pp. 6259-6263 (2009)

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Low-Fresnel number optical systems exhibit significant diffraction effects that cause a shift in the peaks of on-axis irradiance away from the geometric focal point. This is currently interpreted as a change of the focal length of an optical system, leading optical system designers to compensate for the effect by assuming the image plane is coincident with the peak of on-axis irradiance. While this may be an appropriate interpretation for certain applications, I show that despite the shift in peak irradiance away from the geometrical focal point, a change in a system’s optical power will not increase the on-axis irradiance at that distance. This is important for low-light level applications where it is necessary to mitigate diffraction induced transmission losses. I also show that low-Fresnel number systems have increased tolerance on system power at the geometrical focal point and as a result are inherently achromatic.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
(080.2468) Geometric optics : First-order optics

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: September 3, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 7, 2009
Published: November 4, 2009

Christoph Baranec, "Design considerations for low-light level low-Fresnel number optical systems," Appl. Opt. 48, 6259-6263 (2009)

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