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The discussion in Chapter 4 centered on the design of diffractive optics using conventional lens design techniques, in which each ray incident on the DOE is mapped to one output ray. The refractive lenses and mirrors and the diffractive elements described in Chapter 4 manipulate the wavefront by a 1-to-1 mapping [Fig. 5.1 (a)]. Diffractive structures can also be used by the optical engineer for wavefront splitting, in which elements are designed to send light into multiple diffraction orders [Fig. 5.1(b)]. In this chapter we discuss the characteristics and design techniques for diffractive optics that perform a 1-to-N mapping. The techniques used to design complex gratings can be applied to more general classes of diffractive optics, but for consistency we illustrate these design approaches using gratings.
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