Volumetric generation of optical vortices with metasurfaces

Lingling Huang, Xu Song, Bernhard Reineke, Tianyou Li, Xiaowei Li, Juan Liu, Shuang Zhang, Yongtian Wang, Thomas Zentgraf

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56 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent advances in metasurfaces, i.e., two-dimensional arrays of engineered nanoscale inclusions that are assembled onto a surface, have revolutionized the way to control electromagnetic waves with ultrathin, compact components. The generation of optical vortex beams, which carry orbital angular momentum, has emerged as a vital approach to applications ranging from high-capacity optical communication to parallel laser fabrication. However, the typically bulky elements used for the generation of optical vortices impose a fundamental limit toward on-chip integration with subwavelength footprints. Here, we investigate and experimentally demonstrate a three-dimensional volumetric optical vortices generation based on light–matter interaction with a high-efficiency dielectric metasurface. By employing the concepts of Dammann vortex gratings and spiral Dammann zone plates, a 3D optical vortex array with micrometer spatial separation is achieved from visible to near-infrared wavelengths. Importantly, we show that the topological charge distribution can be spatially variant and fully controlled by the design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-346
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017


  • dielectric metasurface
  • orbital angular momentum
  • vortex array


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