Abstract

For the first time to our knowledge, Talbot array illuminators are investigated in terms of providing specific periodic spatial phase patterns at distances showing maximum contrast in intensity. As the main outcome of this investigation, we present a new class of array illuminators, i.e., phase grating profiles, exhibiting an alternating 0–π phase distribution at fractional Talbot distances. The new phase profiles were obtained by means of numerical evaluations of the near field's complex amplitude distribution with the Fresnel–Kirchhoff diffraction formula behind spatially finite grating structures. We further discuss the relationship between spatial phase modulation at distances of maximum contrast and the increase in the fundamental frequency of the intensity distribution compared with that of the input phase structures.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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