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Proceedings Paper

Optical twisters: beams having twists in both phase and amplitude
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Paper Abstract

We describe a diffracting beam with orbital angular momentum (OAM) but with a helical profile in both phase and amplitude components of the beam. This is different from Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beams where only the phase component has a helical profile. Such profile in LG beams introduces a phase singularity at the centre and produces a dark region surrounded by a ring-shaped light pattern. For LG-beams, the ring radius is proportional to the degree of helicity or topological charge of the beam. The beam we describe here is initially characterized with an apodized helical phase front at the outskirts and linearly scaled towards no phase singularity at the centre of the beam. At the focal volume, we show that our beam forms an intensity distribution that can be accurately described as an "optical twister" as it propagates in the forward direction. Unlike LG beams, an optical twister can have minimal changes in radius but with a scalable OAM. Furthermore, we characterize the OAM in terms of its capacity to introduce spiral motion on particles trapped along its orbit. We also show that our "optical twister" maintains a high concentration of photons at the focus even as the topological charge is increased. Such beams can be applied to fundamental studies of light and atoms such as in quantum entanglement of the OAM, toroidal traps for cold atoms and for optical manipulation of microscopic particles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7613, Complex Light and Optical Forces IV, 761304 (8 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.841527
Show Author Affiliations
Vincent Ricardo Daria, Australian National Univ. (Australia)
Darwin Palima, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Jesper Glückstad, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7613:
Complex Light and Optical Forces IV
Enrique J. Galvez; David L. Andrews; Jesper Glückstad, Editor(s)

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