I remember from my optics class years ago that one can make an optical lens out of a set of concentric rings, alternatively transparent and dark. By choosing the diameter and width of said rings, the lenses properties can be tuned, so typically they would be achieved using spatial light modulators (SLM).

Initially I thought I remembered them as Fresnel lenses but then the Wikipedia page does not match that description. They do not seem to be featured on this list of lens designs either.

Does anyone know how they are called and where documentation can be found about them?


1 Answer 1


Answering my own question as remembering about the SLM part helped me to narrow down my search. These are indeed called Fresnel zone plates, or simply zone plates and the wikipedia page has a decent amount of information about them.

(I'll give the community some time before accepting my own answer, in case someone has better documentation pointers to give).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And, because of the easiest way to produce them, such zone plate 'lens' substitutes are also known as holograms, and 'prism' or 'mirror' substitutes are gratings. $\endgroup$
    – Whit3rd
    Dec 14, 2018 at 3:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.