OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 18 — Sep. 9, 2013
  • pp: 20692–20706
« Show journal navigation

Vectorial optical field generator for the creation of arbitrarily complex fields

Wei Han, Yanfang Yang, Wen Cheng, and Qiwen Zhan  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 18, pp. 20692-20706 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.020692


View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (2148 KB)





Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


   


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

Share
Citations

Abstract

Generation of vectorial optical fields with complex spatial distribution in the cross section is of great interest in areas where exotic optical fields are desired, including particle manipulation, optical nanofabrication, beam shaping and optical imaging. In this work, a vectorial optical field generator capable of creating arbitrarily complex beam cross section is designed, built and tested. Based on two reflective phase-only liquid crystal spatial light modulators, this generator is capable of controlling all the parameters of the spatial distributions of an optical field, including the phase, amplitude and polarization (ellipticity and orientation) on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Various optical fields containing phase, amplitude and/or polarization modulations are successfully generated and tested using Stokes parameter measurement to demonstrate the capability and versatility of this optical field generator.

© 2013 OSA

1. Introduction

Optical trapping and manipulation of particles in colloidal and biomedical sciences are made possible by the shaping of light [1

1. K. Dholakia and T. Čižmár, “Shaping the future of manipulation,” Nat. Photonics 5(6), 335–342 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. Shaped optical fields have enabled researchers to better understand the biophysics and colloidal dynamics through the trapping, guiding or patterning of molecules or nano/micro particles. Spatial engineering of focal field intensity has been studied to reach resolution far beyond diffraction limit in microscope system [2

2. S. W. Hell, “Far-field optical nanoscopy,” Science 316(5828), 1153–1158 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Vortex beam, also known as “twisted light”, has also drawn a lot of interest owing to its spiral phase wavefront carrying orbital angular momentums [3

3. Q. Zhan, “Properties of circularly polarized vortex beams,” Opt. Lett. 31(7), 867–869 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Better integrity of vortex beam through propagation in turbulent atmosphere has been shown [4

4. W. Cheng, J. W. Haus, and Q. Zhan, “Propagation of vector vortex beams through a turbulent atmosphere,” Opt. Express 17(20), 17829–17836 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and a lot of research has been done using the orbital angular momentum as information carrier for free space communication due to its orthogonality and multiplexing capability [5

5. G. Gibson, J. Courtial, M. Padgett, M. Vasnetsov, V. Pas’ko, S. Barnett, and S. Franke-Arnold, “Free-space information transfer using light beams carrying orbital angular momentum,” Opt. Express 12(22), 5448–5456 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Besides the manipulation of intensity and phase, as the vector nature of electromagnetic wave, the state of polarization (SOP) also plays an important role in flattop generation [6

6. W. Han, W. Cheng, and Q. Zhan, “Flattop focusing with full Poincaré beams under low numerical aperture illumination,” Opt. Lett. 36(9), 1605–1607 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 7

7. W. Cheng, W. Han, and Q. Zhan, “Compact flattop laser beam shaper using vectorial vortex,” Appl. Opt. 52(19), 4608–4612 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], focus engineering [8

8. Q. Zhan and J. Leger, “Focus shaping using cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express 10(7), 324–331 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], optical tweezing and surface plasmon sensing using cylindrical vectorial beams [9

9. K. J. Moh, X.-C. Yuan, J. Bu, S. W. Zhu, and B. Z. Gao, “Surface plasmon resonance imaging of cell-substrate contacts with radially polarized beams,” Opt. Express 16(25), 20734–20741 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], and spatially resolved ellipsometry [10

10. Q. Zhan and J. R. Leger, “Microellipsometer with Radial Symmetry,” Appl. Opt. 41(22), 4630–4637 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. All the above applications require the spatial modulations of certain aspect of optical fields.

Tremendous amount of research has been conducted to develop versatile systems for the generation of optical fields with exotic properties. A diffractive optical element (DOE) based interferometric method was introduced to generate radially and azimuthally polarized vector beams [11

11. K. C. Toussaint Jr, S. Park, J. E. Jureller, and N. F. Scherer, “Generation of optical vector beams with a diffractive optical element interferometer,” Opt. Lett. 30(21), 2846–2848 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. A robust interferometric method using a spatial light modulator (SLM) was demonstrated to tailor optical vector fields [12

12. C. Maurer, A. Jesacher, S. Furhapter, S. Bernet, and M. Ritsch-Marte, “Tailoring of arbitrary optical vector beams,” New J. Phys. 9(3), 78 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Arbitrary vector fields with inhomogeneous distribution of linear polarization were realized using a SLM and an interferometric arrangement [13

13. X.-L. Wang, J. Ding, W.-J. Ni, C.-S. Guo, and H.-T. Wang, “Generation of arbitrary vector beams with a spatial light modulator and a common path interferometric arrangement,” Opt. Lett. 32(24), 3549–3551 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. An interferometric method using optical Fourier polarization processor was reported in Ref. 14

14. I. Moreno, C. Iemmi, J. Campos, and M. J. Yzuel, “Jones matrix treatment for optical Fourier processors with structured polarization,” Opt. Express 19(5), 4583–4594 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

. A recent study showed that in order to fully control the SOP, two spatially addressable retarders need to be used [15

15. F. Kenny, D. Lara, O. G. Rodríguez-Herrera, and C. Dainty, “Complete polarization and phase control for focus-shaping in high-NA microscopy,” Opt. Express 20(13), 14015–14029 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Researchers constructed such a system consisting of two SLMs with the fast axes 45° from each other and were able to generate optical fields that cover the entire Poincaré sphere. Another non-interferometric method for vector field generation was also proposed in [16

16. S. Tripathi and K. C. Toussaint Jr., “Versatile generation of optical vector fields and vector beams using a non-interferometric approach,” Opt. Express 20(10), 10788–10795 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. However, the complete control of both polarization elevation angle and ellipticity can only be realized by modifying the experimental setup. Complete amplitude, phase and polarization control was reported [17

17. I. Moreno, J. A. Davis, T. M. Hernandez, D. M. Cottrell, and D. Sand, “Complete polarization control of light from a liquid crystal spatial light modulator,” Opt. Express 20(1), 364–376 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] with the help of a double modulation system that requires two transmissive SLMs whose modulation depth can be controlled to achieve amplitude modulation for certain diffraction order. However, this approach comes with the limitation that each area must contain a large number of periods to achieve the ideal diffraction efficiency, which leads to optical field with limited spatial resolution for practical applications. Very recently, a technique for generating arbitrary intensity and polarization was reported using transmissive SLMs and Mach-Zehnder interferometry setup [18

18. D. Maluenda, I. Juvells, R. Martínez-Herrero, and A. Carnicer, “Reconfigurable beams with arbitrary polarization and shape distributions at a given plane,” Opt. Express 21(5), 5432–5439 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Nevertheless, due to the nature of the technique, the absolute phase of each electric field component does not cover the entire 2π range. As a result, a complete phase control cannot be fully realized. The drawbacks of this technique also include relatively low transmittance and poor spatial resolution. All the existing techniques have limitations and cannot be used to generate a spatially-variant arbitrary vectorial field with high spatial resolution on a pixel-by-pixel basis. In this work, we propose and demonstrate a Vectorial Optical Field Generator (VOF-Gen) that is capable of creating arbitrary beam with independent controls of phase, amplitude and polarization on the pixel level utilizing high-resolution reflective phase-only liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM).

2. Principles

Vectorial optical field can be represented as a superposition of two orthogonal polarization components. Using Jones vector representation, the desired field can be written as:
Ed(x,y)=Ad(x,y)ejϕd(x,y)(Exd(x,y)Eyd(x,y)ejδd(x,y)),
(1)
where Ad(x, y) represents the amplitude distribution, ϕd(x, y) is the common phase for both the x and y components and the normalized Jones vector contains the polarization information where Exd and Eyd are both real and normalized (Exd2 + Eyd2 = 1). δd(x, y) is the desired phase retardation between the x and y components. Clearly four degrees of freedom, namely the phase, amplitude, polarization ratio and retardation between the x and y components are necessary in order to fully characterize a vectorial optical field. Thus a true vectorial optical field generator needs to be able to control all of these four parameters on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the generation of arbitrarily complex vectorial optical field. The principles of our proposed VOF-Gen will be discussed in details in the following.

2.1. Liquid crystal spatial light modulator

As a key component for the generator, LC-SLM (Holoeye HEO 1080P) is used as a variable and addressable retarder. This LC-SLM is a phase-only reflective liquid crystal device featuring a HDTV resolution of 1920 x 1080 with pixel pitch of 8 μm and fill factor of 87%. The retardation for each SLM pixel in the SLM can be described as a function of the voltage (V) applied: δ(V)=(2π/λ)(ne(V)no)d, where d is the thickness of the LC layer, ne and no are the extraordinary and ordinary refractive indices of the LC retarder, respectively. Due to the birefringent nature, the LC-SLM in our system only responds to the horizontal polarization parallel to the LC directors, meaning that the horizontal component (x-component) of the reflected beam will carry the wavefront specified by the SLM while the vertical one (y-component) will be simply reflected unaffected. Since four degrees of freedom in Eq. (1) need to be independently controlled in the system, four reflections are required where each SLM section is loaded with one of the phase patterns for the modulations of phase, amplitude, polarization ratio and retardation.

2.2. Spatially variant polarization rotator

Our proposed system relies on one key component called Polarization Rotator (PR) based on the concept of a pure polarization rotator in order to realize the amplitude modulation and linear polarization rotation. Pure polarization rotator that consists of a quarter-wave plate (QWP), a variable optical retarder with fast axis at 45° and another QWP with its fast axis perpendicular to that of the first QWP has been proposed to achieve fast, non-mechanical polarization rotation [19

19. C. Ye, “Construction of an optical rotator using quarter-wave plates and an optical retarder,” Opt. Eng. 34(10), 3031–3035 (1995). [CrossRef]

, 20

20. J. A. Davis, D. E. McNamara, D. M. Cottrell, and T. Sonehara, “Two-Dimensional Polarization Encoding with a Phase-Only Liquid-Crystal Spatial Light Modulator,” Appl. Opt. 39(10), 1549–1554 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In our design, the variable retarder is replaced with the LC-SLM to realize spatially variant polarization rotation function on a pixel-by-pixel basis (Fig. 1(a)
Fig. 1 Illustration of the spatially variant Polarization Rotator setup. (a) The Polarization Rotator comprised of QWP and reflective SLM; (b) Illustration of the effective rotation of the QWP fast axis for the incident (upper) and the reflected (lower) beams due to the mirror imaging of the laboratory coordinates in dashed lines.
). The fast axis of the QWP is along 45° with respect to the horizontal axis. The incident light passes through the QWP with fast axis oriented at 45° (upper part in Fig. 1(b)) in the laboratory coordinate (x, y), and gets reflected off the SLM surface. The reflected light goes through the same QWP for the second time (lower part in Fig. 1(b)). However, due to the opposite propagation direction, the new laboratory coordinate (x’, y’) is a mirror image of coordinate (x, y) about the y axis. Therefore, the fast axis of the QWP has been effectively rotated to 135° in the coordinate (x’, y’). Thus, the Jones matrix representation of the PR can be calculated as:
MPR=MQWP_135°MreflMSLMMQWP_45°=14(1j1j1j1j)(1001)(eiδ(x,y)001)(1j1+j1+j1j)=ejδ(x,y)2(sin(δ(x,y)2)cos(δ(x,y)2)cos(δ(x,y)2)sin(δ(x,y)2))=ej(δ(x,y)2)R(3π2δ(x,y)2),
(2)
where Mrefl indicates the reflection off the LC-SLM surface and MQWP_135° and MQWP_45° are the Jones matrices of the quarter wave plates with fast axes oriented at 135° and 45°, respectively.

Equation (2) describes the Jones matrix of the PR in terms of a spatially variant rotation matrix R with an extra phase term arising from the geometric effect. It is important to keep this additional geometric phase term in mind, as it needs to be compensated in many applications. The rotation matrix R indicates an effective polarization rotation of δ(x,y)/2+π/2 at each pixel. The PR setup is also used to calibrate the look up table (gamma curves) for both SLM panels. By precisely measuring the amount of rotation based on the nulling effect with a linear analyzer for each gray level, we are able to calibrate the gamma curves so that the gray level and the actual phase imposed by the SLM are precisely correlated.

2.3. System flow chart

2.4. Modulation of light

2.4.1. Phase modulation (SLM Section 1)

Phase modulation can be readily realized as the phase information loaded on the SLM will be directly imposed onto the horizontal component of the reflected beam. This is done in SLM Section 1 with a horizontally polarized, well-collimated Gaussian input beam. The resulting field can be represented in terms of Jones Vector as:
J1(x,y)=ejϕ1(x,y)E0(x,y)(10),
(3)
where Eo(x, y) is the amplitude of the input field and ϕ1(x, y) is the phase pattern loaded onto SLM Section 1 of the VOF-Gen. As will be discussed later, the phase ϕ1(x, y) will contain not only the desired phase ϕd(x, y) according to Eq. (1), but also a pre-compensation phase that are due to the geometric phase effect for the polarization rotator described in Section 2.2 above.

2.4.2. Amplitude modulation (SLM Section 2)

Amplitude modulation is achieved by putting a linear polarizer with polarization axis oriented along horizontal direction after a PR setup utilizing the second SLM section. For horizontally polarized input field defined in Eq. (3), the resulting output field can be represented in Jones Vector format as:
J2(x,y)=ej(ϕ1(x,y)+ϕ2(x,y)2+π)sin(ϕ2(x,y)2)E0(x,y)(10),
(4)
where ϕ2(x, y) is the phase pattern for SLM Section 2. Equation (4) shows that amplitude modulation can be achieved with the sine function while the output is still horizontally polarized. For ϕ2 = 0, 0 amplitude can be obtained and unit amplitude is expected for ϕ2 = π. Recall the general expression for an arbitrarily desired field as shown in Eq. (1), compared to the definition for the desired field, ϕ2(x, y) can be calculated via the following expression:

ϕ2(x,y)=2sin1(Ad(x,y)).
(5)

2.4.3. Polarization ratio modulation (SLM Section 3)

As described in Eq. (4), the output field of SLM Section 2 is horizontally polarized. Using another PR setup consisting of the third SLM section, the SOP at each pixel can be linearly rotated to any direction prescribed by the local phase pattern to realize the desired polarization ratio distribution between the x- and y-polarization components. Assuming the phase pattern for SLM Section 3 is ϕ3(x, y), the output field of SLM Section 3 is given by:
J3(x,y)=E0(x,y)ej(ϕ1(x,y)+ϕ2(x,y)2+ϕ3(x,y)2+π)sin(ϕ2(x,y)2)(cos(ϕ3(x,y)2+π2)sin(ϕ3(x,y)2+π2)).
(6)
Similarly, ϕ3(x, y) can be found from the desired field distribution given by Eq. (1) as:

ϕ3(x,y)=2tan1(|Eyd(x,y)||Exd(x,y)|)π.
(7)

2.4.4. Phase retardation modulation (SLM Section 4)

Phase retardation can be introduced by directly shining the linearly polarized output field of SLM Section 3 as shown in Eq. (6) to the last SLM section due to the birefringence nature of the LC molecules. Assuming the phase pattern is ϕ4(x, y) for SLM Section 4, the final output field of the generator can be written as:
J4(x,y)=E0(x,y)ej(ϕ1(x,y)+ϕ2(x,y)2+ϕ3(x,y)2+π)sin(ϕ2(x,y)2)(cos(ϕ3(x,y)2+π2)ejϕ4(x,y)sin(ϕ3(x,y)2+π2)),
(8)
where
ϕ4(x,y)=δd(x,y),
(9)
as given by the desired field distribution in Eq. (1).

As we previously discussed, the first SLM section is responsible for the phase modulation. As we can see in Eq. (8), the phase of the final output will have the following expression:
ϕoutput(x,y)=ϕ1(x,y)+ϕ2(x,y)2+ϕ3(x,y)2+π.
(10)
Additional phases are acquired throughout the steps of amplitude and polarization ratio modulations due to the geometrical phase effects arising from the two PRs used in the setup. Therefore, in order to correctly generate the desired phase in the final output, ϕ1(x, y) must contain both the desired phase information ϕd(x, y) and a pre-compensation phase that compensates the accumulated geometrical phases. By equating ϕoutput(x, y) to ϕd(x, y), we have:
ϕ1(x,y)=ϕd(x,y)+ϕc(x,y),
(11)
where the pre-compensation phase is ϕc(x,y)=ϕ2(x,y)/2ϕ3(x,y)/2π. The verification of the need for this phase pre-compensation will be shown in Section 4.3.

For any desired output field with arbitrary spatial distributions of phase, amplitude and polarization, Eqs. (5), (7), (9) and (11) can be used to calculate the required phase patterns. By loading the phase patterns onto each of the SLM sections of the VOF-Gen, arbitrarily complex desired output field can thus be generated.

3. Experimental setup

From the discussions above, in general four SLMs would be needed in order to fully control all of the degree of freedoms to create an arbitrarily complex optical field. However, taking the advantage of the HDTV format of the Holoeye HEO 1080P SLM, in our VOF-Gen setup two SLM panels are used with each of the SLM panel divided into two halves. Each half of the SLM panels is used to realize the control of one degree of freedom. This architecture utilizes the high resolution of the SLM panel while keeps the complexity of the experimental setup is kept manageable. The schematic diagram of the VOF-Gen is shown in Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Schematic diagram of the experimental setup for the proposed VOF-Gen.
. He-Ne laser of 632.8 nm wavelength is used as the input. Polarizer P1 and half wave plate λ/2 are used in combination to adjust input Gaussian beam intensity. Non-polarizing beam splitters (NPBSs) are used to properly direct the beam, thanks to its insensitivity of the polarization direction of the input beam. The SLM panels are divided into 4 sections, as shown in Fig. 3. The input beam first incidents on SLM Section 1 where phase modulation can be directly obtained. Lens L1 and Mirror M1 are used as a 4-f system. The optical field at the SLM surface in SLM Section 1 can be relayed to SLM Section 2 by carefully controlling the distances from the SLM to L1 and from L1 to M1 to be both equal to the focal length of L1, which is 300 mm. The QWP λ/4 combined with SLM Section 2 works as a PR discussed in Section. 2.2. Amplitude modulation is achieved in this SLM section by using the PR setup and a polarizer P2 while the output beam is still polarized horizontally. The second 4-f system comprised of lenses L2 and L3 is used to image the optical field from SLM Section 2 to SLM Section 3, where polarization rotation is obtained with a second PR setup. Lens L4 and Mirror M2 work as another 4-f system to relay the field at SLM Section 3 to SLM Section 4. Retardation is added to the optical field after being reflected from SLM Section 4. Finally, lenses L5 and L6 are used to relay the field from SLM Section 4 to the Detector (LBA-FW-SCOR by Spiricon) as the last 4-f imaging system in the entire VOF-Gen.

As previously mentioned, the VOF-Gen consists of two SLM panels. Therefore a simultaneous and independent control of both panels is required. This is realized through a color channel coding scheme such that the phase pattern for SLM 1 is coded into the green color (green channel) while the pattern for SLM 2 is coded in the red color (red channel). Then the two colors are combined to generate a color image as the overall phase pattern. Note that we have divided each SLM panel into two halves. Therefore the control signal (overall phase pattern) is also multiplexed spatially into right and left halves to control the left and right sections of both SLMs, respectively. Thus the entire VOF-Gen can be operated with one computer that is capable of outputting 1920 x 1080 resolution color graphics. In order to generate arbitrary beams, diffraction effects have to be taken into consideration. The diffraction needs to be minimized so that sharp edges or high frequency information in phase, amplitude and polarization can survive. This is achieved by the four 4-f imaging systems used in our setup. Spatial filters SF1 and SF2 located in the Fourier planes of the 4-f systems are used to suppress the interference caused by bulk cube beam splitters. Opaque cardboards (shown as black bars between NPBSs in Fig. 3) are placed to block the direct illumination.

4. Experimental results and discussions

4.1. Spatially variant phase modulation: vortex generation

We first demonstrate the phase modulation capability with the generation of optical vortex beams. Optical vortices with spiral wavefront carry orbital angular momentum (OAM). If the phase of the beam has an azimuthal dependence of ejlφ, where φ is the azimuthal angle, then it’s said to have an OAM of lħ or a topological charge of l. Vortex beam with topological charge l in the far field will have Laguerre Gaussian distribution of LG0l. Here only the first SLM section is controlled with a spiral phase and the phase patterns for the rest of VOF-Gen remain flat. The generated field is focused by a lens and the intensity is recorded at the focal plane. Vortex beams with topological charges 1, 10 and 15 are generated and the far field intensities are shown in Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Pure phase modulation with spiral phase of topological charge 1 (left), 10 (middle) and 15 (right). The images are captured at the focal plane of a lens.
. As we can see, LG0,1, LG0,10 and LG0,15 are observed in the focal plane of the lens. As the topological charge increases, the size of the dark center also increases. A weak central spot is also observed, which may be caused by the direct reflection due to the filling factor, finite pixel size and level of quantization of the SLM. The relative amplitude of the central spot is more pronounced for higher topological charges due to the enlarged ring area.

4.2. Spatially variant amplitude modulation

4.3. Spatially variant polarization rotation: radially polarized beam

Cylindrical Vector (CV) beams are a group of beams whose spatially variant SOP possesses cylindrical symmetry [22

22. Q. Zhan, “Cylindrical vector beams: from mathematical concepts to applications,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(1), 1–57 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Due to the unique properties when focused by a high NA objective [8

8. Q. Zhan and J. Leger, “Focus shaping using cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express 10(7), 324–331 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], there has been a great increase in the research of the CV beams recently, which has led to applications in high-resolution imaging [23

23. D. P. Biss, K. S. Youngworth, and T. G. Brown, “Dark-field imaging with cylindrical-vector beams,” Appl. Opt. 45(3), 470–479 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], plasmonic focusing [24

24. A. Yanai and U. Levy, “Plasmonic focusing with a coaxial structure illuminated by radially polarized light,” Opt. Express 17(2), 924–932 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and particle manipulation [25

25. Y. Kozawa and S. Sato, “Optical trapping of micrometer-sized dielectric particles by cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express 18(10), 10828–10833 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Numerous approaches have been proposed to generate such beams, including both active [26

26. J. F. Bisson, J. Li, K. Ueda, and Y. Senatsky, “Radially polarized ring and arc beams of a neodymium laser with an intra-cavity axicon,” Opt. Express 14(8), 3304–3311 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 27

27. M. A. Ahmed, A. Voss, M. M. Vogel, and T. Graf, “Multilayer polarizing grating mirror used for the generation of radial polarization in Yb:YAG thin-disk lasers,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3272–3274 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and passive methods [10

10. Q. Zhan and J. R. Leger, “Microellipsometer with Radial Symmetry,” Appl. Opt. 41(22), 4630–4637 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 28

28. V. G. Niziev, R. S. Chang, and A. V. Nesterov, “Generation of inhomogeneously polarized laser beams by use of a Sagnac interferometer,” Appl. Opt. 45(33), 8393–8399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

We illustrate the capability of using our generator to create these CV beams through the generation of a radially polarized beam, one important subset of CV beams. Essentially the CV beams such as the radial polarization can be generated with the polarization rotation function of the SLM Section 3. A horizontally polarized input beam can be locally rotated pixel-by-pixel to the desired polarization direction. However, as we pointed out in Eq. (2), the spatially variant polarization rotation introduces an additional geometric phase. It is important to pre-compensate this additional phase by the phase pattern for SLM Section 1, as shown in Eq. (11).

When radially polarized beam is focused by low numerical aperture (NA) lens, a doughnut distribution will be resulted in the focal plane owing to the polarization singularity at the center. In order to generate radially polarized beam, the phase pattern for SLM Section 3 ϕ3 will have an azimuthal dependence of 2φ according to Eq. (7), where φ is the azimuth angle. Based on Eq. (8), we know that the extra phase introduced by SLM Section 3 will carry a phase with azimuthal dependence of φ, in other words, a spiral phase with topological charge l = 1. In order to generate true radial polarization with flat phase, a spiral phase with topological charge l = −1 needs to be incorporated in the pre-compensation phase. To verify the phase pre-compensation, we generate radially polarized beams without and with the pre-compensation phase. The far field intensities are captured at the focal plane of a lens, as shown in Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Far field intensities captured at the focal plane of a lens. (a) Radially polarized beam without pre-compensation phase; (b) radially polarized beam with pre-compensation phase.
.

From Fig. 6(a), we can see that without pre-compensation, a bright spot is obtained when such beam is focused. This can be understood as the additional spiral phase cancelled the polarization singularity at the center of the focused radially polarized beam. Once the pre-compensation phase is introduced, a doughnut distribution is obtained as expected (shown in Fig. 6(b)). This confirms that the geometrical phase generated due to the operation of SLM Section 3 is successfully compensated. In general, the phase pre-compensation scheme can be used to compensate any additional phases that are introduced in the following modulation steps from SLM Sections 2, 3 and 4, as shown in Eq. (11). Moreover, this confirmation of the phase pre-compensation also serves as another evidence of the phase modulation capability discussed in Section 4.1.

The generated radially polarized beam is shown in Fig. 7(a)
Fig. 7 Radially polarized beam generated by the VOF-Gen. (a) the total field; (b) shows the fields after a polarizer with transmission axis orientation indicated by black arrows at 0°, 45°, 90° and 135°, respectively; (c) intensity distribution of radially polarized beam superimposed with the polarization map.
. The arrows in Fig. 7(b) indicate the directions of the linear analyzer in front of the camera and the intensity of each linear polarization component is shown respectively. The polarization map is given in Fig. 7(c), which is calculated based on partial Stokes parameter measurement of S0, S1 and S2. The orientation of the lines indicates the local polarization direction while the length of lines indicates the local intensity. As shown in the figure, radial polarization in the output field is observed and the spatially variant polarization rotation capability is demonstrated.

4.4. Spatially variant phase retardation

Right-hand circular polarization (RCP) and left-hand circular polarization (LCP) have phase retardations of + π/2 and -π/2, respectively. To demonstrate the capability of optical field with spatially variant phase retardation, a Taiji pattern is generated using VOF-Gen with one half polarized in right-hand circular polarization (RCP) and the other half in left-hand circular polarization (LCP). The total field and the RCP and LCP components are shown in Fig. 8
Fig. 8 Taiji pattern coded in circular polarization. The total field (left), the upper half Taiji pattern (upper right) in RCP and the lower half Taiji pattern (lower right) in LCP.
. Circular analyzers consisting of a QWP and a linear polarizer are used, where the angle between the fast axis of the QWP and the transmission axis of the polarizer is set at + π/4 and –π/4 to examine the RCP and LCP, respectively.

4.5. Complex vectorial optical field generation with multiple parameters

As a final demonstration, complex vectorial optical field with local polarization elevation angle along radial direction and constant ellipticity of π/10 is designed. In other words, the SOP at each location is elliptical with constant ellipticity and the major axis of the ellipse is always along the radial direction. The ideal field distribution with polarization map, the experimental result and the histogram of the ellipticity (in unit of π radian) experimentally generated are shown in Figs. 11(a)
Fig. 11 Optical field with constant ellipticity and elevation angle along radial direction: (a) simulation, (b) experimental results and (c) histogram of ellipticity.
-11(c), respectively. In this case, the full Stokes parameter measurement of S0, S1, S2 and S3 is performed to reveal the spatial distribution of the SOP of the generated beam. It can be shown that the experimental results generally agree with the design. The histogram of the ellipticity peaks around 0.1π, which shows the generation of the designed ellipticity. At some points the local SOP is slightly different from the expected. This may be due to the fact that the interference patterns caused by the LC-SLM surface can significantly change the SOP and the vibration also affects the accuracy of the full Stokes parameters measurement.

5. Conclusions

In summary, we reported a novel and versatile vectorial optical field generator (VOF-Gen) that is capable of generating arbitrary optical fields by spatially modulating all aspects of optical field (including phase, amplitude, polarization ratio and retardation) on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Various complex vector fields are generated and tested to demonstrate the functionality and flexibility of the proposed VOF-Gen. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful experimental demonstration of an arbitrary vectorial optical field generation system that is capable of tailoring all the spatial aspects of optical fields with high spatial resolution. This arbitrary complex optical field generator may find extensive applications in areas where exotic input fields are required, such as optical imaging, sensing, particle manipulation and beam shaping, etc.

Acknowledgments

W. Han has been supported in part by the University of Dayton Office for Graduate Academic Affairs through the Graduate Student Summer Fellowship Program and Dissertation Year Fellowship Program.

References and links

1.

K. Dholakia and T. Čižmár, “Shaping the future of manipulation,” Nat. Photonics 5(6), 335–342 (2011). [CrossRef]

2.

S. W. Hell, “Far-field optical nanoscopy,” Science 316(5828), 1153–1158 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

Q. Zhan, “Properties of circularly polarized vortex beams,” Opt. Lett. 31(7), 867–869 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

W. Cheng, J. W. Haus, and Q. Zhan, “Propagation of vector vortex beams through a turbulent atmosphere,” Opt. Express 17(20), 17829–17836 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

G. Gibson, J. Courtial, M. Padgett, M. Vasnetsov, V. Pas’ko, S. Barnett, and S. Franke-Arnold, “Free-space information transfer using light beams carrying orbital angular momentum,” Opt. Express 12(22), 5448–5456 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

W. Han, W. Cheng, and Q. Zhan, “Flattop focusing with full Poincaré beams under low numerical aperture illumination,” Opt. Lett. 36(9), 1605–1607 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

W. Cheng, W. Han, and Q. Zhan, “Compact flattop laser beam shaper using vectorial vortex,” Appl. Opt. 52(19), 4608–4612 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

Q. Zhan and J. Leger, “Focus shaping using cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express 10(7), 324–331 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

K. J. Moh, X.-C. Yuan, J. Bu, S. W. Zhu, and B. Z. Gao, “Surface plasmon resonance imaging of cell-substrate contacts with radially polarized beams,” Opt. Express 16(25), 20734–20741 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

10.

Q. Zhan and J. R. Leger, “Microellipsometer with Radial Symmetry,” Appl. Opt. 41(22), 4630–4637 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

K. C. Toussaint Jr, S. Park, J. E. Jureller, and N. F. Scherer, “Generation of optical vector beams with a diffractive optical element interferometer,” Opt. Lett. 30(21), 2846–2848 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

C. Maurer, A. Jesacher, S. Furhapter, S. Bernet, and M. Ritsch-Marte, “Tailoring of arbitrary optical vector beams,” New J. Phys. 9(3), 78 (2007). [CrossRef]

13.

X.-L. Wang, J. Ding, W.-J. Ni, C.-S. Guo, and H.-T. Wang, “Generation of arbitrary vector beams with a spatial light modulator and a common path interferometric arrangement,” Opt. Lett. 32(24), 3549–3551 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

I. Moreno, C. Iemmi, J. Campos, and M. J. Yzuel, “Jones matrix treatment for optical Fourier processors with structured polarization,” Opt. Express 19(5), 4583–4594 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

F. Kenny, D. Lara, O. G. Rodríguez-Herrera, and C. Dainty, “Complete polarization and phase control for focus-shaping in high-NA microscopy,” Opt. Express 20(13), 14015–14029 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

S. Tripathi and K. C. Toussaint Jr., “Versatile generation of optical vector fields and vector beams using a non-interferometric approach,” Opt. Express 20(10), 10788–10795 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

I. Moreno, J. A. Davis, T. M. Hernandez, D. M. Cottrell, and D. Sand, “Complete polarization control of light from a liquid crystal spatial light modulator,” Opt. Express 20(1), 364–376 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

D. Maluenda, I. Juvells, R. Martínez-Herrero, and A. Carnicer, “Reconfigurable beams with arbitrary polarization and shape distributions at a given plane,” Opt. Express 21(5), 5432–5439 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

C. Ye, “Construction of an optical rotator using quarter-wave plates and an optical retarder,” Opt. Eng. 34(10), 3031–3035 (1995). [CrossRef]

20.

J. A. Davis, D. E. McNamara, D. M. Cottrell, and T. Sonehara, “Two-Dimensional Polarization Encoding with a Phase-Only Liquid-Crystal Spatial Light Modulator,” Appl. Opt. 39(10), 1549–1554 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21.

B. E. Saleh and M. C. Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics (Wiley-Interscience, 2007).

22.

Q. Zhan, “Cylindrical vector beams: from mathematical concepts to applications,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(1), 1–57 (2009). [CrossRef]

23.

D. P. Biss, K. S. Youngworth, and T. G. Brown, “Dark-field imaging with cylindrical-vector beams,” Appl. Opt. 45(3), 470–479 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

A. Yanai and U. Levy, “Plasmonic focusing with a coaxial structure illuminated by radially polarized light,” Opt. Express 17(2), 924–932 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

25.

Y. Kozawa and S. Sato, “Optical trapping of micrometer-sized dielectric particles by cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express 18(10), 10828–10833 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

26.

J. F. Bisson, J. Li, K. Ueda, and Y. Senatsky, “Radially polarized ring and arc beams of a neodymium laser with an intra-cavity axicon,” Opt. Express 14(8), 3304–3311 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

27.

M. A. Ahmed, A. Voss, M. M. Vogel, and T. Graf, “Multilayer polarizing grating mirror used for the generation of radial polarization in Yb:YAG thin-disk lasers,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3272–3274 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

28.

V. G. Niziev, R. S. Chang, and A. V. Nesterov, “Generation of inhomogeneously polarized laser beams by use of a Sagnac interferometer,” Appl. Opt. 45(33), 8393–8399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(060.5060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Phase modulation
(090.1760) Holography : Computer holography
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(070.6120) Fourier optics and signal processing : Spatial light modulators

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

History
Original Manuscript: June 25, 2013
Revised Manuscript: August 16, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 16, 2013
Published: August 27, 2013

Citation
Wei Han, Yanfang Yang, Wen Cheng, and Qiwen Zhan, "Vectorial optical field generator for the creation of arbitrarily complex fields," Opt. Express 21, 20692-20706 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-18-20692


Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  

References

  1. K. Dholakia and T. Čižmár, “Shaping the future of manipulation,” Nat. Photonics5(6), 335–342 (2011). [CrossRef]
  2. S. W. Hell, “Far-field optical nanoscopy,” Science316(5828), 1153–1158 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. Q. Zhan, “Properties of circularly polarized vortex beams,” Opt. Lett.31(7), 867–869 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. W. Cheng, J. W. Haus, and Q. Zhan, “Propagation of vector vortex beams through a turbulent atmosphere,” Opt. Express17(20), 17829–17836 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. G. Gibson, J. Courtial, M. Padgett, M. Vasnetsov, V. Pas’ko, S. Barnett, and S. Franke-Arnold, “Free-space information transfer using light beams carrying orbital angular momentum,” Opt. Express12(22), 5448–5456 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. W. Han, W. Cheng, and Q. Zhan, “Flattop focusing with full Poincaré beams under low numerical aperture illumination,” Opt. Lett.36(9), 1605–1607 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. W. Cheng, W. Han, and Q. Zhan, “Compact flattop laser beam shaper using vectorial vortex,” Appl. Opt.52(19), 4608–4612 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. Q. Zhan and J. Leger, “Focus shaping using cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express10(7), 324–331 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. K. J. Moh, X.-C. Yuan, J. Bu, S. W. Zhu, and B. Z. Gao, “Surface plasmon resonance imaging of cell-substrate contacts with radially polarized beams,” Opt. Express16(25), 20734–20741 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. Q. Zhan and J. R. Leger, “Microellipsometer with Radial Symmetry,” Appl. Opt.41(22), 4630–4637 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. K. C. Toussaint, S. Park, J. E. Jureller, and N. F. Scherer, “Generation of optical vector beams with a diffractive optical element interferometer,” Opt. Lett.30(21), 2846–2848 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. C. Maurer, A. Jesacher, S. Furhapter, S. Bernet, and M. Ritsch-Marte, “Tailoring of arbitrary optical vector beams,” New J. Phys.9(3), 78 (2007). [CrossRef]
  13. X.-L. Wang, J. Ding, W.-J. Ni, C.-S. Guo, and H.-T. Wang, “Generation of arbitrary vector beams with a spatial light modulator and a common path interferometric arrangement,” Opt. Lett.32(24), 3549–3551 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. I. Moreno, C. Iemmi, J. Campos, and M. J. Yzuel, “Jones matrix treatment for optical Fourier processors with structured polarization,” Opt. Express19(5), 4583–4594 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. F. Kenny, D. Lara, O. G. Rodríguez-Herrera, and C. Dainty, “Complete polarization and phase control for focus-shaping in high-NA microscopy,” Opt. Express20(13), 14015–14029 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. S. Tripathi and K. C. Toussaint., “Versatile generation of optical vector fields and vector beams using a non-interferometric approach,” Opt. Express20(10), 10788–10795 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. I. Moreno, J. A. Davis, T. M. Hernandez, D. M. Cottrell, and D. Sand, “Complete polarization control of light from a liquid crystal spatial light modulator,” Opt. Express20(1), 364–376 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. D. Maluenda, I. Juvells, R. Martínez-Herrero, and A. Carnicer, “Reconfigurable beams with arbitrary polarization and shape distributions at a given plane,” Opt. Express21(5), 5432–5439 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. C. Ye, “Construction of an optical rotator using quarter-wave plates and an optical retarder,” Opt. Eng.34(10), 3031–3035 (1995). [CrossRef]
  20. J. A. Davis, D. E. McNamara, D. M. Cottrell, and T. Sonehara, “Two-Dimensional Polarization Encoding with a Phase-Only Liquid-Crystal Spatial Light Modulator,” Appl. Opt.39(10), 1549–1554 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. B. E. Saleh and M. C. Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics (Wiley-Interscience, 2007).
  22. Q. Zhan, “Cylindrical vector beams: from mathematical concepts to applications,” Adv. Opt. Photon.1(1), 1–57 (2009). [CrossRef]
  23. D. P. Biss, K. S. Youngworth, and T. G. Brown, “Dark-field imaging with cylindrical-vector beams,” Appl. Opt.45(3), 470–479 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. A. Yanai and U. Levy, “Plasmonic focusing with a coaxial structure illuminated by radially polarized light,” Opt. Express17(2), 924–932 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. Y. Kozawa and S. Sato, “Optical trapping of micrometer-sized dielectric particles by cylindrical vector beams,” Opt. Express18(10), 10828–10833 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. J. F. Bisson, J. Li, K. Ueda, and Y. Senatsky, “Radially polarized ring and arc beams of a neodymium laser with an intra-cavity axicon,” Opt. Express14(8), 3304–3311 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. M. A. Ahmed, A. Voss, M. M. Vogel, and T. Graf, “Multilayer polarizing grating mirror used for the generation of radial polarization in Yb:YAG thin-disk lasers,” Opt. Lett.32(22), 3272–3274 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. V. G. Niziev, R. S. Chang, and A. V. Nesterov, “Generation of inhomogeneously polarized laser beams by use of a Sagnac interferometer,” Appl. Opt.45(33), 8393–8399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited