Optical beams with a phase term proportional to the azimuthal angle possess a singularity at the beam center and carry an orbital angular momentum (OAM). The OAM beams find important applications including the trapping and rotation of microscopic objects, atom-light interactions and optical communications. The OAM beams can be generated by spiral phase plates or spatial light modulators which are bulky. Recently, planar optical components including q-plates, arrays of nano-antennas and all-dielectric metasurfaces, have attracted significant attention. However, they lack reconfigurability, which means that once the components are fabricated, their functionality cannot be changed.
In this work, we experimentally demonstrate a nonlinear metasurface-based beam converter which is designed to transform a Hermite-Gaussian beam to a vortex beam with an OAM in a transmission mode. The proposed converter is built of an array of nano-cubes made of chalcogenide(As2S3) glass. Chalcogenides offer several advantages for designing all-dielectric, nonlinear metasurfaces, including high linear refractive index at near-infrared wavelengths, low losses, and relatively high third-order nonlinear coefficient. In particular, reconfigurability is enabled by the intensity-dependent refractive index or Kerr nonlinearity. Input Hermite-Gaussian beam at low intensity transmitting through the metasurface acquired an OAM, while at high intensity, remained its original intensity and phase profile. The parameters of the reconfigurable metasurface were optimized and its functionality was verified using numerical simulation and in laboratory experiments. Compared to conventional metasurfaces, their nonlinear counterparts are likely to enable a number of novel devices for all-optical switching and integrated circuits applications.
Yun Xu, Jingbo Sun, Jesse A. Frantz, Mikhail I. Shalaev, Jason D. Myers, Robel Y. Bekele, Alexander Tsukernik, Wiktor Walasik, Jasbinder S. Sanghera, and Natalia M. Litchinitser, "All-dielectric, nonlinear, reconfigurable metasurface-enabled optical beam converter (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10719, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2018, 107191Y (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 22, 2018; Published: 17 September 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2322146.5836038466001.
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