The coatings used on telescope mirrors and other optical interfaces can have a marked effect on an optical system's image quality. We describe the wave-front aberrations, particularly the defocus and on-axis astigmatism, that are induced by the s- andp-phase shifts of coatings. These coating-induced wave-front aberrations are very small, particularly near the design wavelengths of the coatings, but they can under certain circumstances overshadow the geometric wave-front aberrations of the system. The wave-front aberrations that are induced by reflection-enhanced coatings on an f/1.5 Cassegrain telescope are numerically evaluated as an example. A theory of coating-induced on-axis astigmatism and chromatic aberration is presented, and a simple algorithm that uses polarization ray tracing to calculate coating-induced defocus and astigmatism coefficients in radially symmetric systems is provided.
- Aberration theory
- Thin films
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering