A theoretical model is proposed to describe coherent dark hollow beams (DHBs) with rectangular symmetry. The electric field of a coherent rectangular DHB is expressed as a superposition of a series of the electric field of a finite series of fundamental Gaussian beams. Analytical propagation formulas for a coherent rectangular DHB passing through paraxial optical systems are derived in a tensor form. Furthermore, for the more general case, we propose a theoretical model to describe a partially coherent rectangular DHB. Analytical propagation formulas for a partially coherent rectangular DHB passing through paraxial optical systems are derived. The beam propagation factor (M<sup>2</sup> factor) for both coherent and partially coherent rectangular DHBs are studied. Numerical examples are given by using the derived formulas. Our models and method provide an effective way to describe and treat the propagation of coherent and partially coherent rectangular DHBs.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 14, 2005
Revised Manuscript: February 15, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: February 24, 2006
Yangjian Cai and Lei Zhang, "Coherent and partially coherent dark hollow beams with rectangular symmetry and paraxial propagation properties," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 1398-1407 (2006)