Proceedings PaperA versatile platform for manipulating photonic spin and orbital states based on liquid crystal microstructures (Conference Presentation)
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Utilizing the spin degree of freedom breaks new ground for designing photonic devices. Seeking out a suitable platform for flexible steering of photonic spin states is a critical task. In this work, we demonstrate a versatile Liquid crystal (LC) based platform for manipulating photonic spin and orbital states. Owing to the photoalignment technique, the local and fine tuning of the LC medium is effectively implemented to form various anisotropic microstructures. The light-matter interaction in the corresponding medium is tailored to control the evolution of photonic spin states. The physical mechanism of such a system is investigated, and the corresponding dynamical equation is obtained. The high flexibility endows the LC-based photonic system with great value to be used for Hamiltonian engineering. As an illustration, the optical analogue of intrinsic spin Hall effect (SHE) in electronic systems is presented. The pseudospins of photons are driven to split by the anisotropic effective magnetic field arising from the inhomogeneous spin-orbit interaction (SOI) in the twisting microstructures. In virtue of the designability of the LC-based platform, the form of the interaction Hamiltonian is regulated to present diverse PSHE phenomena, which is hard to be realized in the solid electronic systems. Some representative samples are prepared for experimental observation, and the results are in good agreement with theoretical predictions. We believe the tunable LC system may shed new light on future photonic quantum applications.