It is shown that nonsingular light beams can generate singular birefringent patterns in homogeneous birefringent elastic media. These orientational defects of the optical-axis spatial distribution originate from an optical torque driven by a nonzero longitudinal field component. Singular radial and spin-dependent azimuthal light-induced elastic distortion patterns are described and experimentally observed in a uniform liquid-crystal film in the course of a focused circularly polarized Gaussian beam.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 24, 2009
Revised Manuscript: September 18, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 21, 2009
Published: October 15, 2009
Etienne Brasselet, "Singular optical manipulation of birefringent elastic media using nonsingular beams," Opt. Lett. 34, 3229-3231 (2009)