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Proceedings Paper

Optical vortex singularities and atomic circulation in evanescent waves
Author(s): V. E. Lembessis; D. L. Andrews; M. Babiker; S. Al-Awfi
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Paper Abstract

The total internal reflection of an optical beam with a phase singularity can generate evanescent light that displays a rotational character. At a metalized surface, in particular, field components extending into the vacuum region possess vortex properties in addition to surface plasmon features. These surface plasmonic vortices retain the phase singularity of the input light, also mapping its associated orbital angular momentum. In addition to a two-dimensional patterning on the surface, the strongly localized intensity distribution decays with distance perpendicular to the film surface. The detailed characteristics of these surface optical vortex structures depend on the incident beam parameters and the dielectric mismatch of the media. The static interference of the resulting surface vortices, achieved by using beams suitably configured to restrict lateral in-plane motion, can be shown to give rise to optical forces that produce interesting dynamical effects on atoms or small molecules trapped in the vicinity of the surface. As well as trapping within the surface plasmonic fields, model calculations reveal that the corresponding atomic trajectories will typically exhibit a variety of rotational and vibrational effects, significantly depending on the extent and sign of detuning from resonance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2011
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7950, Complex Light and Optical Forces V, 795007 (16 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.874926
Show Author Affiliations
V. E. Lembessis, New York College (Greece)
D. L. Andrews, Univ. of East Anglia Norwich (United Kingdom)
M. Babiker, The Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
S. Al-Awfi, Taibah Univ. (Saudi Arabia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7950:
Complex Light and Optical Forces V
David L. Andrews; Enrique J. Galvez; Jesper Glückstad, Editor(s)

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