Near-field focusing properties of zone plates are investigated in the visible regime by a 3-dimensional finite-difference time-domain method. It is shown that Frensel zone plates (FZPs) with metallic coatings can achieve subwavelength focusing in the visible wavelength. The characteristics of subwavelength focusing are found to be independent of the type of metal coatings used. All the FZPs exhibit similar shift in focal length and depth of focus when compared with classical calculations. These results indicate that plasmonic waves do not contribute to subwavelength focusing. Instead the subwavelength focusing characteristic is attributed to the interference of diffracted evanescent waves from a large numerical aperture. It is found that the near-field focusing of FZPs suppresses higher order foci such that the corresponding diffraction efficiency is improved. The use of phase zone plate structured on glass without opaque coating is proposed to improve the diffraction efficiency of subwavelength focusing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics