We propose a new approach to generating a pair of initial beams for a polarization converter that operates by summing up two opposite-sign circularly polarized beams. The conjugated pairs of vortex beams matched with laser modes are generated using binary diffractive optical elements (DOEs). The same binary element simultaneously serves two functions: a beam shaper and a beam splitter. Two proposed optical arrangements are compared in terms of alignment complexity and energy efficiency. The DOEs in question have been designed and fabricated. Natural experiments that demonstrate the generation of vector higher-order cylindrical beams have been conducted.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 26, 2012
Revised Manuscript: April 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 1, 2012
Published: June 12, 2012
Svetlana N. Khonina, Sergey V. Karpeev, and Sergey V. Alferov, "Polarization converter for higher-order laser beams using a single binary diffractive optical element as beam splitter," Opt. Lett. 37, 2385-2387 (2012)