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Proceedings Paper

Photopolymerization with light fields possessing orbital angular momentum (Conference Presentation)

Paper Abstract

Photopolymerization, the process of using ultraviolet light to activate polymerization within resins, is a powerful approach to create arbitrary, transparent micro-objects with a resolution below the diffraction limit. Importantly, to date all photopolymerization studies have been performed with incident light fields with planar wavefronts and have solely exploited the intensity profile of the incident beam. We investigate photopolymerization with light fields possessing orbital angular momentum (OAM), characterized by the topological charge “l”. We show that, as a consequence of nonlinear self-focusing of the optical field, photopolymerization creates an annular-shaped vortex-soliton and an associated optical fibre, which exhibits a helical trajectory, with a chirality determined by the sign of “l”. In particular, due to a transverse modulation instability in the nonlinear self-focusing photopolymer, the vortex beam breaks up into the “l” solitons or microfibers, each of which exhibit helical trajectories and together form a bundle of helical microfibers. Our numerical simulations, based on the nonlinear paraxial wave equation for the photopolymer, captures all the experimental observations for a variety of optical vortices characterized by “l”. This therefore represents a new physical manifestation of the use of OAM light fields. This research opens up a new application for light fields with OAM, and our generated microfibers may have applications in optical communications and micromanipulation. In a broader context, our work adds a new facet to the emergent field of helical fibres that have themselves recently come to the fore in the photonic crystal community as a route to generating fields with OAM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE 11083, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XVI, 1108320 (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2530249
Show Author Affiliations
Yoshihiko Arita, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Junhyung Lee, Chiba Univ. (Japan)
Katsuhiko Miyamoto, Chiba Univ. (Japan)
Paris Panagiotopoulos, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Ewan M. Wright, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Kishan Dholakia, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Takashige Omatsu, Chiba Univ. (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11083:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XVI
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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