Surface optical vortices

V. E. Lembessis, M. Babiker, D L. Andrews

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It is shown how the total internal reflection of orbital-angular-momentum-endowed light can lead to the generation of evanescent light possessing rotational properties in which the intensity distribution is firmly localized in the vicinity of the surface. The characteristics of these surface optical vortices depend on the form of the incident light and on the dielectric mismatch of the two media. The interference of surface optical vortices is shown to give rise to interesting phenomena, including pattern rotation akin to a surface optical Ferris wheel. Applications are envisaged to be in atom lithography, optical surface tweezers, and spanners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number011806(R)
JournalPhysical Review A (PRA)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2009

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