Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Communication modes in vector diffraction
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Microelectronics and Applied Physics, MAP.
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Microelectronics and Applied Physics, MAP.
2010 (English)In: Optik (Stuttgart), ISSN 0030-4026, Vol. 121, no 22, 2087-2093 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The communication modes, which mathematically correspond to singular value decomposition, have proven a useful concept in optical scalar-field diffraction, with applications in resolution studies, image synthesis, and wave propagation. For optical near-field geometries the communication modes have to be extended to electromagnetic field accounting for the polarization properties. In this paper we present the vector-valued communication modes method based on the rigorous electric-field diffraction integral. As a special case the transverse-electric scalar field modes are obtained. The intensity and polarization properties of the leading electromagnetic communication modes in near-field arrangements with rectangular apertures are discussed in terms of the Stokes parameters. For small separations between the transmitting and receiving apertures the fundamental mode possesses a ring-shaped hollow structure. The polarization properties of the near-field modes show features on spatial scales smaller than the wavelength of light. The system symmetries lead to degenerate communication modes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 121, no 22, 2087-2093 p.
Keyword [en]
Wave optics, Diffraction, Propagation, Optical information, Near fields
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-30252DOI: 10.1016/j.ijleo.2009.07.016ISI: 000285530000017ScopusID: 2-s2.0-78049329657OAI: diva2:399406
Swedish Research Council
QC 20110222Available from: 2011-02-22 Created: 2011-02-21 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Structural Information Content of the Optical Field
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Structural Information Content of the Optical Field
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]


The communication modes are a mathematical technique for the description of structural information in optical fields. These modes are orthogonal, optimally  connected functions characteristic of the optical system. Mathematically they are obtained by the singular value decomposition (SVD) of the operator that represents the field propagation. In this dissertation, the foundations of the technique are described, and the theory is extended and applied to a variety of specific systems.


In the Fresnel regime, the communication modes are closely related to the prolate spheroidal wavefunctions (PSWF). Within this approximation, the numerical propagation of the field in a one-dimensional optical system in terms of the PSWFs is demonstrated and the problem of assessing the best achievable realization of a given target field is addressed. Simplified equations for field propagation are presented. Approximate modes in large-aperture systems are derived and shown to agree with Gabor's theory on optics and information. The longitudinal resolution of an axicon is analyzed in terms of the communication modes. It is shown that in a generalized axicon geometry the communication modes are expressible in terms of the PSWFs, and that in usual circumstances a version of the large aperture approximation applies, resulting in quadratic waves in the aperture domain and sinc functions in the image domain


Eigenequations for the communication modes in scalar near-field diffraction are derived and applied to a simplified scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM) geometry. It is suggested that the resolution of a SNOM system is essentially given by the width of the lowest-order communication modes. The best-connected mode is shown to effectively reduce to the Green function.


Within the context of random fluctuations the communication modes are defined for the cross-spectral density of partially coherent fields. These modes are compared to the well-known coherent modes. Expressions for the effective degree of coherence are derived, and it is demonstrated that optical fields of any state of coherence may readily be propagated through deterministic systems by means of the communication modes. Results are illustrated numerically in an optical near-field geometry.


The communication modes theory is further extended to vector diffraction on the basis of Maxwell's equations. The polarization properties of the electromagnetic communication modes as represented by the Stokes parameters are analyzed numerically for an example of a near-field geometry.

The work presented in this dissertation shows that the communication modes are an advanced, versatile tool that can be applied to deterministic and random, scalar and electromagnetic optical systems in far-field and near-field arrangements. The method is likely to find further uses in applications such as polarization microscopy.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. x, 87 p.
Trita-ICT/MAP, AVH Report 2009:02Arbete och HälsaFOU-rapport
National Category
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10281 (URN)978-91-7415-284-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-22, Electrum C1, Isafjordsgatan 26, Kista, 10:15 (English)
QC 20100802Available from: 2009-05-15 Created: 2009-04-29 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Martinsson, PerFriberg, Ari T.
By organisation
Microelectronics and Applied Physics, MAP
In the same journal
Optik (Stuttgart)
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 32 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link