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A comparison of the vectorial nonparaxial approach with Fresnel and Fraunhofer approximations

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Based on the vectorial Rayleigh diffraction integrals, a nonparaxial propagation equation of vectorial plane waves diffracted at a circular aperture is derived. The nonparaxial far-field expression, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction formulae are given and treated as special cases of our general expression. The theoretical formulation permits us to study and compare the transversal and axial intensity distributions of diffracted plane waves both analytically and numerically. Illustrative numerical examples are given. It is shown that the vectorial nonparaxial approach has to be used if the aperture size is comparable with or less than the wavelength, and the knowledge of both transversal and axial intensity distributions is required to provide a comprehensive comparison of the paraxial and nonparaxial results.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1078/0030-4026-00356

Affiliations: Institute of Laser Physics and Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610064, China

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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