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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 9 — May. 1, 2011
  • pp: 1563–1565

Symmetry breaking of optical vortices: birth and annihilation of singularities in the evanescent field

P. A. Brandão and C. S. J. Julião  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 9, pp. 1563-1565 (2011)

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The interaction of optical vortices (or phase singularities, or screw dislocations) with ordinary matter is treated with a simple approach. Using the total internal reflection phenomenon and the superposition of four plane waves incident on a material with a refractive index lower than the original propagating medium, we are able to show the birth and annihilation of optical vortices in an evanescent field with curved topological features. Until now, this phenomenon has been explored only in free space propagation. By a suitable tuning process involving the incident angles and the amplitudes of the incident plane waves, it is possible to create unusual topological features of optical vortices in the vicinity of the material. We believe that this work can open new aspects of curved optical vortex manipulation in near-field optics.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.0050) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction and gratings
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(260.6970) Physical optics : Total internal reflection
(050.4865) Diffraction and gratings : Optical vortices

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: February 24, 2011
Revised Manuscript: March 21, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: March 22, 2011
Published: April 21, 2011

P. A. Brandão and C. S. J. Julião, "Symmetry breaking of optical vortices: birth and annihilation of singularities in the evanescent field," Opt. Lett. 36, 1563-1565 (2011)

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