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Diffractive optical elements tailor optical fields via diffraction. The diffraction patterns of standard apertures such as single slit, double slit, circular aperture, and square slit are well known. However, for applications, apertures with higher levels of complexity may be required. A DOE can be thought of as a special aperture and can be engineered to obtain a desired intensity and phase profile at the plane of interest. Therefore, it is necessary to be familiar with such aperture functions and their respective diffracted fields, and to reconstruct the aperture function from the intensity and phase profile required at the plane of interest. DOEs can be of different versions, such as amplitude-only and phase-only, as well as hybrid types containing both amplitude and phase components in the same DOE. Phase DOEs possess higher efficiency than their amplitude counterparts. Hence, for most applications, phase-only DOEs are preferred, while in a few cases hybrid DOEs with both phase and amplitude profiles are used. This chapter presents step-by-step procedures for designing amplitude-only, phase-only, and hybrid DOEs with MATLAB codes.
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