Optical vortex mode generation by nanoarrays with a tailored geometry

Mathew D. Williams, Matthew Coles, David S. Bradshaw, David L. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Light generated with orbital angular momentum, commonly known as an optical vortex, is widely achieved by modifying the phase structure of a conventional laser beam through the utilization of a suitable optical element. In recent research, a process has been introduced that can produce electromagnetic radiation with a helical wave-front directly from a source. The chirally driven optical emission originates from a hierarchy of tailored nanoscale chromophore arrays arranged with a specific propeller-like geometry and symmetry. In particular, a nanoarray composed of n particles requires each component to be held in a configuration with a rotation and associated phase shift of 2 π/n radians with respect to its neighbor. Following initial electronic excitation, each such array is capable of supporting delocalized doubly degenerate excitons, whose azimuthal phase progression is responsible for the helical wave-front. Under identified conditions, the relaxation of the electronically-excited nanoarray produces structured light in a spontaneous manner. Nanoarrays of escalating order, i.e. those containing an increasing number of components, enable access to a set of topological charges of higher order. Practical considerations for the development of this technique are discussed, and potential new applications are identified. © (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2014


  • optical angular momentum
  • Laguerre-Gaussian
  • optical vortices
  • quantum optics
  • chirality
  • structured light
  • Wavefronts
  • Particles
  • Phase shifting
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Excitons
  • Lasers
  • Nanotechnology
  • optical components

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