Abstract

Optical vortices are attracting much attention because of their applications in various fields of optical processing, communications, enhanced imaging systems, and bio-inspired devices. Different methods to generate optical vortices have been devised to date. Among them, several are based on the exploitation of light–matter interaction in liquid-crystal media. This review focuses on the main mechanisms of vortex generation in liquid crystals, in particular on vortex generation induced by umbilics, that is, defects arising in homeotropically aligned nematic cells, which act as topological matter templates able to realize the conversion from spin to orbital angular momentum of an incoming Gaussian beam. Optical vortex induction in a photosensitive light valve is presented as a self-stabilizing mechanism leading to reconfigurable and programmable vortex arrays. On each lattice site, every matter vortex acts as a photonic spin-to-orbital momentum coupler, converting input arrays of circularly polarized beams into output arrays of vortex beams with topological charges consistent with the matter lattice symmetry.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Spin-to-orbital angular momentum conversion in dielectric metasurfaces

Robert Charles Devlin, Antonio Ambrosio, Daniel Wintz, Stefano Luigi Oscurato, Alexander Yutong Zhu, Mohammadreza Khorasaninejad, Jaewon Oh, Pasqualino Maddalena, and Federico Capasso
Opt. Express 25(1) 377-393 (2017)

Dipole azimuthons and vortex charge flipping in nematic liquid crystals

Yana V. Izdebskaya, Anton S. Desyatnikov, Gaetano Assanto, and Yuri S. Kivshar
Opt. Express 19(22) 21457-21466 (2011)

Electro-optically induced topological reactions of optical indicatrix orientation and polarization state defects

Yu. Vasylkiv, T. Kryvyy, I. Skab, and R. Vlokh
Appl. Opt. 56(35) 9613-9619 (2017)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (31)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (42)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription