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On the Diffraction Limit for Lensless Imaging

Published

Author(s)

Klaus Mielenz

Abstract

The diffraction limit for lensless imaging, defined as the smallest obtainable point image, is analyzed and compared to the corresponding limit for imaging with lenses by means of theoretical considerations and numerical computations using the Fresnel-Lommel diffraction theory for circular apertures. The numerical result obtained for the best configuration parameter u which defines the optical setup is the same (u = ) as the value reported in a classical paper by Petzval and is consistent with the quarter-wave resolution criterion, but smaller than a value (u = 1.8 ) found by Lord Rayleigh which is shown to be consistent with the Sparrow criterion of resolution. The numerical values of other measures of image size are reported and compared to equivalent parameters of the Fraunhofer-Airy profile which governs imaging with lenses.
Citation
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -
Volume
104 No. 5

Keywords

aperture diameter, Fraunhofer-Airy profile, Fresnel-Lommel theroy, image size irradiance, lensless imaging, Petzval, radiant flux, Rayleigh, resolution

Citation

Mielenz, K. (1999), On the Diffraction Limit for Lensless Imaging, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed July 13, 2024)

Issues

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Created November 17, 1999, Updated February 17, 2017