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Proceedings Article

Broadband orbital angular momentum manipulation using liquid crystal thin films

[+] Author Affiliations
Yanming Li, Jihwan Kim, Michael J. Escuti

North Carolina State Univ. (USA)

Proc. SPIE 8274, Complex Light and Optical Forces VI, 827415 (February 9, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.913757
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From Conference Volume 8274

  • Complex Light and Optical Forces VI
  • Enrique J. Galvez; David L. Andrews; Jesper Glückstad; Marat S. Soskin
  • San Francisco, California, USA | January 21, 2012

abstract

We introduce two high efficiency thin-film optical elements, operating over a wide spectral range, to generate and control the Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) of various light sources: a broadband q-plate and a broadband Forked Polarization Grating (FPG). The broadband OAM manipulation is achieved by thin liquid crystal polymer layers that are aligned to provide the required spatially varying anisotropy. These elements operate using geometric phase principles to generate raised and lowered OAM modes whose efficiencies are sensitive to the polarization state of the incident light. We discuss the design principles involved and experimentally demonstrate broadband q-plates and FPGs that are highly efficient (> 90%) in the visible wavelength range. These thin film elements enable easy integration into various optical systems requiring broadband OAM manipulation such as optical trapping and high capacity information.

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Citation

Yanming Li ; Jihwan Kim and Michael J. Escuti
"Broadband orbital angular momentum manipulation using liquid crystal thin films", Proc. SPIE 8274, Complex Light and Optical Forces VI, 827415 (February 9, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.913757; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.913757


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