Optimization of aspheric geometric phase lenses for improved field-of view

Abstract: In optical thin-films and surfaces, geometric phase is utilized to control the phase beyond that possible through optical path differences. Geometric-phase lenses, which are significantly thinner than refractive lenses for the same numerical aperture (NA), most commonly use a spherical phase profile. This is especially effective for normally incident light, but like other thin lenses, the performance degrades noticeably for off-axis incidence and wider fields-of-view. In this study, we investigate whether or not various aspheric designs provide better off-axis performance. We simulate aspheric singlet and doublet liquid crystal geometric-phase lenses (24.5 mm diameter, 40 mm back focal length at 633 nm), aiming to optimize spot size performance at 0, 3, and 7 degrees field angles, using Zemax OpticStudio 16.5. By using Zernike fringe phase expansions, we find conditions which provide improved off-axis performance. We demonstrate improved performance of a compact lens system utilizing these polarization-dependent optics.

K. J. Hornburg, X. Xiang, M. W. Kudenov, and M. J. Escuti, “Optimization of aspheric geometric-phase lenses for improved field-of-view,” in Optical Modeling and Performance Predictions X, M. A. Kahan, M. B. LevineWest, and C. D. Merrill, eds. (Spie-Int Soc Optical Engineering, 2018), 10743, p. 1074305.