Fully reflective photon sieve

Sun, W., Y. Hu, D. G. MacDonnell, H. J. Kim, C. Weimer, and R. R. Baize (2018), Fully reflective photon sieve, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 206, 101-104, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2017.11.002.
Abstract: 

Photon sieves (PS) have many applications and various designs in focusing light. However, a traditional PS only has a light transmissivity up to ∼25% and a focusing efficiency up to ∼7%, which hinder the application of them in many fields, especially for satellite remote sensing. To overcome these inherent drawbacks of traditional PSs, a concept of reflective photon sieve is developed in this work. This reflective photon sieve is based on a transparent membrane backed by a mirror. The transparent membrane is optimally a fully transparent material sheet with given refractive index and designed geometric thickness which has an optical thickness of a quarter incident wavelength (i.e. an anti-reflective coating). The PSpatterned pinholes are made on the transparent membrane. The design makes the light reflected from pinholes and that from zones of membrane material have 180° phase difference. Thus, light incident on this optical device is reflected and focused on its focal point. This device can have a reflectivity of ∼100% and a focusing efficiency of ∼50% based on numerical simulation. This device functions similar to a concave focusing mirror but can preserve the phase feature of light (such as that for the light with orbital angular momentum). It also has excellent wavelength-dependent property, which can exclude most of the undesired light from the focal point. A thin sheet of this component can perform the joint function of lenses and gratings/etalons in the optical path of a remote sensing system, thus is suitable for controling/filtering light in compact instruments such as satellite sensors. This concept is validated by the finite-difference time domain (FDTD) modeling and a lab prototype in this study.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Mission: 
NASA LaRC IRAD and NASA ESTO ACT