Theory of high-NA imaging in homogeneous thin films

Donis G. Flagello, Tom Milster, Alan E. Rosenbluth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


A description is given of a modeling technique that is used to explore three-dimensional image distributions formed by high numerical aperture (NA > 0.6) lenses in homogeneous, isotropic, linear, and source-free thin films. The approach is based on a plane-wave decomposition in the exit pupil. Factors that are due to polarization, aberration, object transmittance, propagation, and phase terms are associated with each planewave component. These are combined with a modified thin-film matrix technique in a derivation of the total field amplitude at each point in the film by a coherent vector sum over all plane waves. One then calculates the image distribution by squaring the electric-field amplitude. The model is used to show how asymmetries present in the polarized image change with the influence of a thin film. Extensions of the model to magneto-optic thin films are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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