A general procedure is presented for the design of diffractive optical elements, and scalar diffraction theory is used to apply it to the design of three common diffractive elements: a diffractive lens, an array generator, and a correlation filter. The procedure reveals that most common design techniques can be classified as either direct or indirect optimizations. The key feature of the design procedure is the specification of a suitable performance measure based on the designer’s understanding of the optical system and the fabrication technology used to realize the diffractive element. The use of complex-wave amplitude, scale, and phase freedoms in design is also emphasized.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 19, 1994
Revised Manuscript: May 4, 1995
Manuscript Accepted: May 8, 1995
Published: October 1, 1995
Joseph N. Mait, "Understanding diffractive optic design in the scalar domain," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 2145-2158 (1995)