The use of beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) has become ubiquitous and topical in a variety of research fields. More recently, there has been a growing interest in exotic OAM carrying beams with spatially variant polarization, so called Poincare sphere beams, with the well known cylindrical vector beams (CVBs) a particular example; for example, they can be used to obtain tighter focus in applications ranging from optical trapping and tweezing, to laser material processing. Here we outline how to generate such beams in a deterministic manner directly from a solid state laser by employing intra-cavity geometric phase control. Further, we show how to detect and quantify such beams and introduce a new beam quality factor for vector beams. Finally, we consider the effects of amplification on the quality of such beams. We show that the amplification process can be used to maintain, degrade or improve the overall quality of vector beams.
Vector beams that carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) have become ubiquitous and topical in a variety of research fields. The quality of such beams usually degrades while propagating in space. Here, we report a noval technique to improve the quality of vector beams by amplifying these beams through birefringent amplifier. We demonstrated this experimentally over the different orientation of the amplifier to reach enhancement in the quality of maximum 20% of that for the incident beam.