The analytical expression of the phase profile of the optimum diffractive beam splitter with an arbitrary power ratio between the two output beams is derived. The phase function is obtained by an analytical optimization procedure such that the diffraction efficiency of the resulting optical element is the highest for an actual device. Comparisons are presented with the efficiency of a diffractive beam splitter specified by a sawtooth phase function and with the pertinent theoretical upper bound for this type of element.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 17, 1999
Revised Manuscript: August 16, 1999
Manuscript Accepted: July 8, 1999
Published: January 1, 2000
Riccardo Borghi, Gabriella Cincotti, and Massimo Santarsiero, "Diffractive variable beam splitter: optimal design," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 63-67 (2000)