Optical vortex beam generator at nanoscale level

Denis Garoli, Pierfrancesco Zilio, Yuri Gorodetski, Francesco Tantussi, Francesco De Angelis

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40 Scopus citations


Optical beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) can find tremendous applications in several fields. In order to apply these particular beams in photonic integrated devices innovative optical elements have been proposed. Here we are interested in the generation of OAM-carrying beams at the nanoscale level. We design and experimentally demonstrate a plasmonic optical vortex emitter, based on a metal-insulator-metal holey plasmonic vortex lens. Our plasmonic element is shown to convert impinging circularly polarized light to an orbital angular momentum state capable of propagating to the far-field. Moreover, the emerging OAM can be externally adjusted by switching the handedness of the incident light polarization. The device has a radius of few micrometers and the OAM beam is generated from subwavelength aperture. The fabrication of integrated arrays of PVLs and the possible simultaneous emission of multiple optical vortices provide an easy way to the large-scale integration of optical vortex emitters for wide-ranging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29547
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2016


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