Design of broadband diffractive elements is studied. It is shown that dielectric polarization gratings can be made to perform the same optical function over a broad band of wavelengths. Any design of paraxial-domain diffractive elements can be realized as such broadband elements that may, e.g., give constant diffraction efficiencies over the wavelength band while the field propagation after the elements remains wavelength-dependent. Furthermore, elements producing symmetric signals are shown to work with arbitrarily polarized or partially polarized incident planar broadband fields. The performance of the elements is illustrated by numerical examples and some practical issues related to their fabrication are discussed.
©2005 Optical Society of America
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