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Shaping the longitudinal electric field component of light
Author(s): F. Maucher; S. Skupin; S. A. Gardiner; I. G. Hughes
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Paper Abstract

This paper illustrates examples of shaping the longitudinal electric field component of light which is relevant for tightly focused beams. Given that the latter is not directly accessible via conventional beam shaping techniques we elaborate on the interplay between the transverse polarization and longitudinal electric field components. A Helmholtz decomposition of the transverse electric field components in the transverse plane permits on the one hand to draw insightful analogies with electro- and magnetostatics and with fluid dynamics. On the other hand, it allows to clearly isolate the remaining degree of freedom in the transverse electric field components for a given longitudinal electric field component and with that to generalize the concepts of radial and azimuthal polarization. We discuss degrees of freedom and show how one can exploit the findings to generate novel customized vector beams. Furthermore, we present a thought experiment to study beams containing evanescent waves.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10935, Complex Light and Optical Forces XIII, 1093502 (1 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2512112
Show Author Affiliations
F. Maucher, Aarhus Univ. (Denmark)
S. Skupin, Univ. Lyon, Univ. Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, Institut Lumière Matière (France)
S. A. Gardiner, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
I. G. Hughes, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10935:
Complex Light and Optical Forces XIII
Jesper Glückstad; David L. Andrews; Enrique J. Galvez, Editor(s)

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