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Opt Express. 2011 Jan 31;19(3):2580-8. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.002580.

The creation and annihilation of optical vortices using cascade conical diffraction.

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School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Internal conical diffraction produces a superposition of orthogonally polarised zero- and first-order Bessel like beams from an incident circularly polarised Gaussian beam. For right-circularly polarised light, the first-order beam has an optical vortex of charge -1. Upon propagation of the first-order beam through a second biaxial crystal, a process which is termed cascade conical refraction, the generated beam is a superposition of orthogonally polarised fields of charge 0 and -1 or 0 and -2. This spin to orbital angular momentum conversion provides a new method for the generation and annihilation of optical vortices in an all-optical arrangement that is solely dependent on the incident polarisation and vortex handedness.

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