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Opt Express. 2006 Feb 6;14(3):1033-43.

Vector diffraction analysis of high numerical aperture focused beams modified by two- and three-zone annular multi-phase plates.


Vector diffraction theory was applied to study the effect of two- and three-zone annular multi-phase plates (AMPs) on the three-dimensional point-spread-function (PSF) that results when linearly polarized light is focused using a high numerical aperture refractory lens. Conditions are identified for which a three-zone AMP generates a PSF that is axially superresolved by 19% with minimal change in the transverse profile and sufficiently small side lobes that the intensity pattern could be used for advanced photolithographic techniques, such as multi-photon 3D microfabrication, as well as multi-photon imaging. Conditions are also found in which a three-zone AMP generates a PSF that is axially elongated by 510% with only 1% change along the transverse direction. This intensity distribution could be used for sub-micron-scale laser drilling and machining.

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