Light focused from air into a spherical microlens is affected by diffraction at the lens surface as its diameter approaches the wavelength of light. Through an extension of Mie theory, we show that a converging wave that is incident upon a Si microlens with a diameter less than approximately 4λ creates a spot as much as 25% smaller than predicted with vector diffraction theory. Si microlenses only a wavelength in diameter are shown to be virtually insensitive to variations in the maximum illumination angle, and changes in index of refraction are not found to cause the proportional changes in spot size that would be expected from vector diffraction theory.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(050.1960) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction theory
(110.0180) Imaging systems : Microscopy
(220.2560) Optical design and fabrication : Propagating methods
(220.3630) Optical design and fabrication : Lenses
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
D. A. Fletcher, K. E. Goodson, and G. S. Kino, "Focusing in microlenses close to a wavelength in diameter," Opt. Lett. 26, 399-401 (2001)