Abstract

Helix phase plates are used in a variety of applications from optical trapping to astronomy. Tunable helix phase plates based on the Alvarez–Lohmann principle allow variation of the topological charge of the helix by rotating the phase plates with respect to each other around the optical axis. Current designs generate an undesired inverse phase in the section determined by the rotation angle. We present tunable phase plates that use a special quantization to maintain a uniform phase over the tuning range, suppressing the undesired part. As one benefit, the efficiency of the elements is increased over the whole tuning range.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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