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"Diffractive optics element with subdiffraction-limited depth of focus", by Jinsong Liu, Andrew. J. Waddie and M. R. Taghizadeh, Journal of Modern Optics, 50(2):227-237, 2003.

Phase-only subdiffraction-limited depth of focus (DOF) elements are proposed and a relatively simple method is given which reduces the number of design parameters to four. A diffractive optical element with subdiffractive-limited DOF was experimentally demonstrated for the first time. Experimental results are in close agreement with numerical prediction. Several calculated examples show that the DOF for subdiffraction-limited elements can decrease by an amount, ranging from 37% to 71% compared to the DOF for a diffraction-limited element when r is chosen close to zero. The reduction is determined by the focal length of the element and the required distance between the primary peak (focal plane) and the secondary peak, both in units of wavelength. The latter, i.e. the peak-to-peak distance, determines the maximum applicable DOF. The influence of input laser beam parameters, such as phase distribution and beam size, on the focusing performance have also been investigated.

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