An upper bound of the diffraction efficiency of diffractive elements that only influence the phase of the illumination wave is derived. The derivation only utilizes the specification of the desired diffraction pattern. It is independent of the technique to design and fabricate the diffractive element. The theory is based on the transmittance approach to describe the effect of the element on the illumination wave.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 8, 1991
Published: December 15, 1991
Frank Wyrowski, "Upper bound of the diffraction efficiency of diffractive phase elements," Opt. Lett. 16, 1915-1917 (1991)