From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2015
In recent years, complex optical fields with spatially inhomogeneous phases, polarizations and optical singularities have drawn many research interests. Many novel effects have been predicted and demonstrated for light beams with these unconventional states in both linear and nonlinear optics regimes. Although local optical phase could be controlled directly or through hologram structures in isotropic materials such as glasses, optical anisotropy is still required for manipulating polarization states and wavelengths. The anisotropy could be either intrinsic such as in crystals/liquid crystals (LCs) or the induced birefringence from dielectric or metallic structures. In this talk, we will briefly review some of our attempts in tailoring complex optical fields via anisotropic microstructures. We developed a micro-photo-patterning system that could generate complex micro-images then further guides the arbitrary local LC directors. Due to the electro-optically (EO) tunable anisotropy of LC, various reconfigurable complex optical fields such as optical vortices (OVs), multiplexed OVs, OV array, Airy beams and vector beams are obtained. Different LC modes such as homogeneous alignment nematic, hybrid alignment nematic and even blue phase LCs are adopted to optimize the static and dynamic beam characteristics depending on application circumstances. We are also trying to extend our approaches to new wavelength bands, such as mid-infrared and even THz ranges. Some preliminary results are obtained. In addition, based on our recently developed local poling techniques for ferroelectric crystals, we will also discuss and demonstrate the nonlinear complex optical field conversion in Lithium Niobate wafers with patterned ferroelectric domain structures.
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