Coating-induced wave-front aberrations: On-axis astigmatism and chromatic aberration in all-reflecting systems

Daniel J. Reiley, Russell A. Chipman, Daniel J. Reiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The coatings used on telescope mirrors and other optical interfaces can have a marked effect on an optical system's image quality. We describe the wave-front aberrations, particularly the defocus and on-axis astigmatism, that are induced by the s- andp-phase shifts of coatings. These coating-induced wave-front aberrations are very small, particularly near the design wavelengths of the coatings, but they can under certain circumstances overshadow the geometric wave-front aberrations of the system. The wave-front aberrations that are induced by reflection-enhanced coatings on an f/1.5 Cassegrain telescope are numerically evaluated as an example. A theory of coating-induced on-axis astigmatism and chromatic aberration is presented, and a simple algorithm that uses polarization ray tracing to calculate coating-induced defocus and astigmatism coefficients in radially symmetric systems is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2002-2012
Number of pages11
JournalApplied optics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Aberration theory
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Coating-induced wave-front aberrations: On-axis astigmatism and chromatic aberration in all-reflecting systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this