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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 2 — Jan. 17, 2011
  • pp: 476–481

Optical twists in phase and amplitude

Vincent R. Daria, Darwin Z. Palima, and Jesper Glückstad  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 476-481 (2011)

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Light beams with helical phase profile correspond to photons having orbital angular momentum (OAM). A Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beam is an example where its helical phase sets a phase-singularity at the optical axis and forms a ring-shaped transverse amplitude profile. Here, we describe a unique beam where both phase and amplitude express a helical profile as the beam propagates in free space. Such a beam can be accurately referred to as an optical twister. We characterize optical twisters and demonstrate their capacity to induce spiral motion on particles trapped along the twisters’ path. Unlike LG beams, the far field projection of the twisted optical beam maintains a high photon concentration even at higher values of topological charge. Optical twisters have therefore profound applications 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.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(350.5500) Other areas of optics : Propagation
(350.4855) Other areas of optics : Optical tweezers or optical manipulation

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2010
Revised Manuscript: December 1, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: December 20, 2010
Published: January 3, 2011

Vincent R. Daria, Darwin Z. Palima, and Jesper Glückstad, "Optical twists in phase and amplitude," Opt. Express 19, 476-481 (2011)

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