Abstract

Light weight and small dimensions are some of the most important characteristics of near-to-eye displays (NEDs). These displays consist of two basic parts: a microdisplay for generating an image and supplementary optics in order to see the image. Nowadays, the pixel size of microdisplays may be less than 4 μm, which makes the supplementary optics the major factor in defining restrictions on a NED dimensions or at least on the distance between the microdisplay and the eye. The goal of the present work is to find answers to the following two questions: how small this distance can be in principle and what is the microdisplay maximum resolution that stays effective to see through the supplementary optics placed in immediate vicinity of the eye. To explore the first question, we consider an aberration-free magnifier, which is the initial stage in elaboration of a real optical system. In this case, the paraxial approximation and the transfer matrix method are ideal tools for simulation of light propagation from the microdisplay through the magnifier and the human eye’s optical system to the retina. The human eye is considered according to the Gullstrand model. Parameters of the magnifier, its location with respect to the eye and the microdisplay, and the depth of field, which can be interpreted as the tolerance of the microdisplay position, are determined and discussed. The second question related to the microdisplay maximum resolution is investigated by using the principles of wave optics.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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