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Optical Polarization Mobius Strips and Points of Purely Transverse Spin Density

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Bauer,  Thomas
Interference Microscopy and Nanooptics, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Neugebauer,  Martin
Interference Microscopy and Nanooptics, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Leuchs,  Gerd
Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Banzer,  Peter
Interference Microscopy and Nanooptics, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bauer, T., Neugebauer, M., Leuchs, G., & Banzer, P. (2016). Optical Polarization Mobius Strips and Points of Purely Transverse Spin Density. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 117(1): 013601. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.013601.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-62AF-2
Abstract
Tightly focused light beams can exhibit complex and versatile structured electric field distributions. The local field may spin around any axis including a transverse axis perpendicular to the beams' propagation direction. At certain focal positions, the corresponding local polarization ellipse can even degenerate into a perfect circle, representing a point of circular polarization or C point. We consider the most fundamental case of a linearly polarized Gaussian beam, where-upon tight focusing-those C points created by transversely spinning fields can form the center of 3D optical polarization topologies when choosing the plane of observation appropriately. Because of the high symmetry of the focal field, these polarization topologies exhibit nontrivial structures similar to Mobius strips. We use a direct physical measure to find C points with an arbitrarily oriented spinning axis of the electric field and experimentally investigate the fully three-dimensional polarization topologies surrounding these C points by exploiting an amplitude and phase reconstruction technique.