Near-field spatial coherence of structured incoherent optical sources

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Spatial coherence is a fundamental property of light with many applications. However, if a light source is spatially incoherent and structured, its near-field coherence is difficult to evaluate directly because of the complexity of the emitted random light. In this work, we propose a general approach to calculate the near-field mutual intensity and transverse coherence length of propagating radiation from a periodically structured incoherent source using optical reciprocity. If the structure period is subwavelength and much smaller than the source, the mutual intensity reduces to a Fourier transform of the angular intensity spectrum of the radiation. Tailoring the near-field spatial coherence of incoherent sources by structuring can be used, e.g., for applications in optical sensing and imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053509
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • spatial coherence


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