Abstract

Diffractive superresolution elements (DSEs) placed on a pupil plane can generate a diffractive main lobe whose width is smaller than that of an Airy disk, allowing for the realization of superresolution technology based on pupil filtering. However, the energy of the main lobe decreases dramatically with the decreasing of main lobe width, namely, the implementation of this superresolution technology is at the cost of effective signal power. This restricts greatly the development of this technology. In order to solve this problem, this study suggests the use of a heterodyne detection system (HDS) with this technology. The resolution characteristics of the HDS are analyzed through theoretical deduction. According to research results, HDS has the same longitudinal resolution and twice as high transverse resolution as a direct detection system (DDS). More significantly, the theoretical analyses show that HDS can increase detection sensitivity significantly compared with DDS. Hence, the proposed method makes it possible to detect extremely faint signals using this superresolution technology. In addition, because HDS lowers the requirements on main lobe energy due to its high sensitivity, the design of DSE can achieve a smaller width of main lobe, which can further improve the resolution of the superresolution technology based on pupil filtering.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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