Silicon metasurfaces were fabricated on fused silica substrates by using sputtering, electron beam lithography and reactive ion etching. A chromium etch mask was used to protect the silicon during plasma etching. We designed a hologram with phase range of 0 - 1.17π to generate a higher order Bessel beam. The device produced the expected beam profile and the presence of charge 3 was confirmed using a interference test. Tests on spiral plate devices were less successful owing to the thickness non-uniformity in the sputtered Si film.
Orbital angular momentum (OAM), one of the most recently discovered degrees of freedom of light beam field has fundamentally revolutionized optical physics and its technological capabilities. Optical beams with OAM have enabled a large variety of applications, including super-resolution imaging, optical trapping, classical and quantum optical communication, and quantum computing, to mention a few. To enable these and several other emerging applications, optical beams with OAM have been generated using a variety of methods and technologies, such as a simple astigmatic lens pair, one-/two-dimensional holographic optical elements, three-dimensional spiral phase plates, optical fibers, and recent entrants such as metasurfaces. All these techniques achieve spatial light modulation and can be implemented with either passive elements or active devices, such as liquid crystal on silicon and digital micromirror devices. Many of these devices and technologies are not only used for the generation of amplitude phase-polarization structured light beams but are also capable of analyzing them. We have attempted to encompass a wide variety of such technologies as well as a few emerging methodologies, broadly categorized into generation and detection protocols. We address the needs of scientists and engineers who desire to generate/detect OAM modes and are looking for the technique (active or passive) best suited for their application.
Recently, metasurfaces have gained popularity due to their ability to offer a spatially varying phase response, low intrinsic losses and high transmittance. Here, we demonstrate numerically and experimentally a silicon meta-surface at THz frequencies that converts a Gaussian beam into a Vortex beam independent of the polarization of the incident beam. The metasurface consists of an array of sub-wavelength silicon cross resonators made of a high refractive index material on substrates such as sapphire and CaF2 that are transparent at IR-THz spectral
range. With these substrates, it is possible to create phase elements for a specific spectral range including at the molecular finger printing around 10 μm as well as at longer THz wavelengths where secondary molecular structures can be revealed. This device offers high transmittance and a phase coverage of 0 to 2π. The transmittance phase is tuned by varying the dimensions of the meta-atoms. To demonstrate wavefront engineering, we used a discretized spiraling phase profile to convert the incident Gaussian beam to vortex beam. To realize this, we
divided the metasurface surface into eight angular sectors and chose eight different dimensions for the crosses providing successive phase shifts spaced by π/4 radians for each of these sectors. Photolithography and reactive ion etching (RIE) were used to fabricate these silicon crosses as the dimensions of these cylinders range up to few hundreds of micrometers. Large 1-cm-diameter optical elements were successfully fabricated and characterised by optical profilometry.
A binary Fresnel Zone Axilens (FZA) is designed for the infinite conjugate mode and the phase profile of a refractive axicon is combined with it to generate a composite Diffractive Optical Element (DOE). The FZA designed for two focal lengths generates a line focus along the propagation direction extending between the two focal planes. The ring pattern generated by the axicon is focused through this distance and the radius of the ring depends on the propagation distance. Hence, the radius of the focused ring pattern can be tuned, during the design process, within the two focal planes. The integration of the two functions was carried out by shifting the location of zones of FZA with respect to the phase profile of the refractive axicon resulting in a binary composite DOE. The FZAs and axicons were designed for different focal depth values and base angles respectively, in order to achieve different ring radii within the focal depth of each element. The elements were simulated using scalar diffraction formula and their focusing characteristics were analyzed. The DOEs were fabricated using electron beam direct writing and evaluated using a fiber coupled diode laser. The tunable ring patterns generated by the DOEs have prospective applications in microdrilling as well as microfabrication of circular diffractive and refractive optical elements.