Photon sieve

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Photon Sieve

A photon sieve is a device for focusing light using diffraction and interference. It consists of a flat sheet of material full of pinholes that are arranged in a pattern which is similar to the rings in a Fresnel zone plate, but a sieve brings light to much sharper focus than a zone plate. The sieve concept, first developed in 2001,[1] is versatile because the characteristics of the focusing behaviour can be altered to suit the application by manufacturing a sieve containing holes of several different sizes and different arrangement of the pattern of holes.

Photon sieves have applications to photolithography.[2] and are an alternative to lenses or mirrors in telescopes.[3]


  1. ^ Sharper images by focusing soft X-rays with photon sieves, L. Kipp, M. Skibowski, R. L. Johnson, R. Berndt, R. Adelung, S. Harm, and R. Seemann, Nature 414, 184 (2001).
  2. ^ Photon-sieve lithography, Rajesh Menon and Dario Gil, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A/Vol. 22, No. 2/February 2005
  3. ^ Photon sieve telescope: imaging with 10 million pinholes, Geoff Andersen, 4 September 2006, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.1200608.0358