Two-dimensional point spread matrix of layered metal–dielectric imaging elements

Kotyński R., Antosiewicz T.J., Król K., and Panajotov K.

Journal of the Optical Society of America A - Optics Image Science and Vision

28 (2), 2011, 111-117, 10.1364/JOSAA.28.000111

We describe the change of the spatial distribution of the state of polarization occurring during two-dimensional (2D) imaging through a multilayer and in particular through a layered metallic flat lens. Linear or circular polarization of incident light is not preserved due to the difference in the amplitude transfer functions for the TM and TE polarizations. In effect, the transfer function and the point spread function (PSF) that characterize 2D imaging through a multilayer both have a matrix form, and cross-polarization coupling is observed for spatially modulated beams with a linear or circular incident polarization. The PSF in a matrix form is used to characterize the resolution of the superlens for different polarization states. We demonstrate how the 2D PSF may be used to design a simple diffractive nanoelement consisting of two radial slits. The structure assures the separation of nondiffracting radial beams originating from two slits in the mask and exhibits an interesting property of a backward power flow in between the two rings.