Dark spots in a beam known as optical vortices can produce new and intriguing effects when used along with polarization control in a microscope. To highlight breakthroughs in this area, the editors of Optics Express, the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal, today published a special focus issue on Unconventional Polarization States of Light. The issue was organized and edited by Thomas G. Brown of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester and Qiwen Zhan of the University of Dayton.
"What once was a side curiosity of optics is now joining the mainstream, both in fundamental investigations and in applications," said Brown. "Research in this focus issue will cover polarization breakthroughs that have the potential to affect a broad range of disciplines – from nanomaterials to laser devices."
The polarization of light can play an important role in optical trapping, interaction with nanostructures, and focusing in microscopy. The seminal work in the mid-1990s by Colin Sheppard, now at the National University of Singapore, and Dennis G. Hall now at Vanderbilt University launched a flurry of studies in the last decade on the creation and focusing of polarized beams that have certain geometrical symmetries. Beams with a spoke-like 'radial' polarization were of particular interest because of their potential for creating small focal regions of axially polarized light, a key requirement for interacting with nanostructures and coupling to fields tightly confined to metal surfaces. For unconventional polarization states of light, the geometrical arrangement of the polarization can produce vortex behavior in beam propagation, a result that has intrigued physicists and changed how optical engineers think about illumination in microscopes and lithography systems. Meanwhile, the creation of unconventional polarization states within compact laser cavities has offered new ways to begin incorporating these states into more complex optical systems.
Key Findings & Selected Papers
The following papers are some of the highlights of the Optics Express focus issue on Unconventional Polarization States of Light. All are included in volume 18, issue 10 and can be accessed online at http://www.OpticsInfoBase.org/OE.
"On the experimental investigation of the electric and magnetic response of a single nanostructure." Peter Banzer, Ulf Peschel, Susanne Quabis, and Gerd Leuchs, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. pp. 10905-10923.
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-18-10-10905New research from the University of Dayton on the stable production of radial, azimuthal and other more complex vectorial beams from a fiber laser.
"Vectorial fiber laser using intracavity axial birefringence." Renjie Zhou, Joseph W. Haus, Peter E. Powers, and Qiwen Zhan, University of Dayton. pp. 10839-10847.
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-18-10-10839A new paper from the University of Rochester that provides an experimental and theoretical analysis of laser beams that contain every possible state of polarization within the cross section of the beam, and the propagation laws that govern those beams.
"Full Poincaré beams." Amber M. Beckley, Thomas G. Brown, and Miguel Alonso, University of Rochester. pp. 10777-10785.
About Optics Express
Optics Express reports on new developments in all fields of optical science and technology every two weeks. The journal provides rapid publication of original, peer-reviewed papers. It is published by the Optical Society and edited by C. Martijn de Sterke of the University of Sydney. Optics Express is an open-access journal and is available at no cost to readers online at http://www.OpticsInfoBase.org/OE.
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit http://www.osa.org.
Angela Stark | EurekAlert!
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy