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Diffractive flat lens enables Extreme Depth-of-focus Imaging

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:05 authored by Sourangsu Banerji, Monjurul Meem, Apratim Majumder, Berardi Sensale-Rodriguez, Rajesh Menon
A lens performs an approximately one-to-one mapping from the object to the image planes. This mapping in the image plane is maintained within a depth of field (or referred to as depth of focus, if the object is at infinity). This necessitates refocusing of the lens when the images are separated by distances larger than the depth of field. Such refocusing mechanisms can increase the cost, complexity and weight of imaging systems. Here, we show that by judicious design of a multi-level diffractive lens (MDL) it is possible to drastically enhance the depth of focus, by over 4 orders of magnitude. Using such a lens, we are able to maintain focus for objects that are separated by as large as ~6m in our experiments. Specifically, when illuminated by collimated light at lambda=0.85mm, the MDL produced a beam that remained in focus from 5mm to ~1500mm from the MDL. The measured full-width at half-maximum of the focused beam varied from 6.6um (5mm away from MDL) to 524um (1500mm away from MDL). Since the sidelobes were well suppressed and the main-lobe was close to the diffraction-limit, imaging with a horizontal X vertical field of view of 20deg x 15deg over the entire focal range was demonstrated. This demonstration opens up a new direction for lens design, where by treating the phase in the focal plane as a free parameter, extreme depth-of-focus imaging becomes possible.



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