Abstract

We demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that a parabolic mirror (PM) with a high numerical aperture (NA) of 1 focuses a radially polarized laser mode to the smallest diffraction-limited spot at a fixed NA and wavelength, having an area of 0.134λ2. The measurements were performed with a confocal microscope, using the PM as a focusing and collecting element. The results stand in accordance with the theoretical calculations presented by Davidson and Bokor [Opt. Lett. 29, 1318 (2004)] , who predicted a reduction in the total focal spot size of 43% as compared with an aplanatic lens.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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