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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2011
  • pp: 4998–5011

Compound prism design principles, I

Nathan Hagen and Tomasz S. Tkaczyk  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 25, pp. 4998-5011 (2011)

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Prisms have been needlessly neglected as components used in modern optical design. In optical throughput, stray light, flexibility, and in their ability to be used in direct-view geometry, they excel over gratings. Here we show that even their well-known weak dispersion relative to gratings has been overrated by designing doublet and double Amici direct-vision compound prisms that have 14 ° and 23 ° of dispersion across the visible spectrum, equivalent to 800 and 1300 lines / mm gratings. By taking advantage of the multiple degrees of freedom available in a compound prism design, we also show prisms whose angular dispersion shows improved linearity in wavelength. In order to achieve these designs, we exploit the well-behaved nature of prism design space to write customized algorithms that optimize directly in the nonlinear design space. Using these algorithms, we showcase a number of prism designs that illustrate a performance and flexibility that goes beyond what has often been considered possible with prisms.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(080.2740) Geometric optics : Geometric optical design
(230.5480) Optical devices : Prisms
(260.2030) Physical optics : Dispersion
(300.6190) Spectroscopy : Spectrometers

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: May 26, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 5, 2011
Published: August 30, 2011

Nathan Hagen and Tomasz S. Tkaczyk, "Compound prism design principles, I," Appl. Opt. 50, 4998-5011 (2011)

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