Gradient-index design for mode conversion of diffracting beams

W. Minster Kunkel, James R. Leger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Gradient-index (GRIN) media offer advantages over thin optical elements for beam shaping of strongly diffracting fields. A numerical GRIN design method is presented, where diffraction effects are considered in solving for the refractive index profile. The index profile is found by specifying a desired beam transformation throughout the GRIN volume and solving a series of phase retrieval problems. A Gaussian to flat-top beam shaper and a coherent beam combiner are shown as examples. Reduced beam distortion is demonstrated in comparison to a purely geometric design method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13480-13488
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 13 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge financial support from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (HQ0034-14-D-0001) and the United States Department of Defense Air Force (FA9550-14-1-0382). We gratefully acknowledge Di Lin for providing his geometric GRIN design code.

Publisher Copyright:
©2016 Optical Society of America.


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