Holographic Solution to a Fundamental Problem in Diffractive Optics: Resolution Beyond Diffraction and Lithography Limits

Andrei Bleahu, Shivasubramanian Gopinath, Agnes Pristy Ignatius Xavier, Tauno Kahro, Andra Naresh Kumar Reddy, Francis Gracy Arockiaraj, Daniel Smith, Soon Hock Ng, Tomas Katkus, Aravind Simon John Francis Rajeswary, Praveen Periyasami Angamuthu, Siim Pikker, Kaupo Kukli, Aile Tamm, Saulius Juodkazis, Joseph Rosen, Vijayakumar Anand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Manufacturing diffractive lenses with a high numerical aperture (NA) is often a challenging task. The challenge stems from the fundamental limit of lithography techniques and the diffraction limit. Photolithography and femtosecond ablation are some of the well-established rapid lithography techniques for manufacturing large-area diffractive lenses for the visible region. First, when high NA diffractive lenses are designed, the outermost width of the zone becomes a sub-lithography limit (~ 2 μm) while still being super-wavelength. In advanced photolithography and most femtosecond ablation methods, the lithography limit is sub-wavelength, but scalar diffraction is not applicable, and the device becomes polarization sensitive. In this study, a holographic solution to overcome the above limitations is proposed. Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) is a super-resolution incoherent imaging technique. In this project, a FINCH-inspired optical configuration is proposed to image beyond the lithography and diffraction limit of the diffractive lens. In a regular imaging system, the light from an object is collected by a diffractive lens and imaged, and recorded by an image sensor in the image plane. In this work, the intensity distribution is not recorded at the image plane but at a plane where the light modulated by the diffractive lens interferes with the unmodulated light outside the diffractive lens. This intensity distribution has spatial frequencies beyond the limit of the NA of the diffractive lens, resulting in super-resolution. Using the newly developed Lucy-Richardson-Rosen algorithm (LR2A), the image is reconstructed. We believe that the developed technique will improve the performance of imaging systems based on high-NA diffractive lenses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHolography
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances and Modern Trends VIII
EditorsAntonio Fimia, Miroslav Hrabovsky
ISBN (Electronic)9781510662681
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
EventHolography: Advances and Modern Trends VIII 2023 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 24 Apr 202325 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceHolography: Advances and Modern Trends VIII 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • Fresnel incoherent correlation holography
  • Super-resolution
  • diffractive lens
  • holography
  • imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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