Generation of light with controllable spatial patterns via the sum frequency in quasi-phase matching crystals.
ABSTRACT: Light beams with extraordinary spatial structures, such as the Airy beam (AB), the Bessel-Gaussian beam (BGB) and the Laguerre-Gaussian beam (LGB), are widely studied and applied in many optical scenarios. We report on preparation of light beams with controllable spatial structures through sum frequency generation (SFG) using two Gaussian pump beams in a quasi-phase matching (QPM) crystal. The spatial structures, including multi-ring-like BGB, donut-like LGB, and super-Gaussian-like beams, can be controlled periodically via crystal phase mismatching by tuning the pump frequency or crystal temperature. This phenomenon has not been reported or discussed previously. Additionally, we present numerical simulations of the phenomenon, which agree very well with the experimental observations. Our findings give further insight into the SFG process in QPM crystals, provide a new way to generate light with unusual spatial structures, and may find applications in the fields of laser optics, all-optical switching, and optical manipulation and trapping.
Project description:One of the main challenges for laser-scanning microscopy of biological tissues with refractive heterogeneities is the degradation in spatial resolution that occurs as a result of beam steering and distortion. This challenge is particularly significant for dual-axis confocal (DAC) microscopy, which achieves improved spatial-filtering and optical-sectioning performance over traditional confocal microscopy through off-axis illumination and collection of light with low-numerical aperture (NA) beams that must intersect precisely at their foci within tissues. DAC microscope image quality is sensitive to positional changes and distortions of these illumination- and collection-beam foci. Previous studies have shown that Bessel beams display improved positional stability and beam quality than Gaussian beams when propagating through tissues with refractive heterogeneities, which suggests that Bessel-beam illumination may enhance DAC microscopy of such tissues. Here, we utilize both Gaussian and Bessel illumination in a point-scanned DAC microscope and quantify the resultant degradation in resolution when imaging within heterogeneous optical phantoms and fresh tissues. Results indicate that DAC microscopy with Bessel illumination exhibits reduced resolution degradation from microscopic tissue heterogeneities compared to DAC microscopy with conventional Gaussian illumination.
Project description:In this manuscript, we demonstrate the ability of nonlinear light-atom interactions to produce tunably non-Gaussian, partially self-healing optical modes. Gaussian spatial-mode light tuned near to the atomic resonances in hot rubidium vapor is shown to result in non-Gaussian output mode structures that may be controlled by varying either the input beam power or the temperature of the atomic vapor. We show that the output modes exhibit a degree of self-reconstruction after encountering an obstruction in the beam path. The resultant modes are similar to truncated Bessel-Gauss modes that exhibit the ability to self-reconstruct earlier upon propagation than Gaussian modes. The ability to generate tunable, self-reconstructing beams has potential applications to a variety of imaging and communication scenarios.
Project description:Creation of patterns and structures on surfaces at the micro- and nano-scale is a field of growing interest. Direct femtosecond laser surface structuring with a Gaussian-like beam intensity profile has already distinguished itself as a versatile method to fabricate surface structures on metals and semiconductors. Here we present an approach for direct femtosecond laser surface structuring based on optical vortex beams with different spatial distributions of the state of polarization, which are easily generated by means of a q-plate. The different states of an optical vortex beam carrying an orbital angular momentum ℓ = ±1 are used to demonstrate the fabrication of various regular surface patterns on silicon. The spatial features of the regular rippled and grooved surface structures are correlated with the state of polarization of the optical vortex beam. Moreover, scattered surface wave theory approach is used to rationalize the dependence of the surface structures on the local state of the laser beam characteristics (polarization and fluence). The present approach can be further extended to fabricate even more complex and unconventional surface structures by exploiting the possibilities offered by femtosecond optical vector fields.
Project description:We experimentally investigate the potential of using 'self-healing' Bessel-Gaussian beams carrying orbital-angular-momentum to overcome limitations in obstructed free-space optical and 28-GHz millimetre-wave communication links. We multiplex and transmit two beams (l?=?+1 and +3) over 1.4?metres in both the optical and millimetre-wave domains. Each optical beam carried 50-Gbaud quadrature-phase-shift-keyed data, and each millimetre-wave beam carried 1-Gbaud 16-quadrature-amplitude-modulated data. In both types of links, opaque disks of different sizes are used to obstruct the beams at different transverse positions. We observe self-healing after the obstructions, and assess crosstalk and power penalty when data is transmitted. Moreover, we show that Bessel-Gaussian orbital-angular-momentum beams are more tolerant to obstructions than non-Bessel orbital-angular-momentum beams. For example, when obstructions that are 1 and 0.44 the size of the l?=?+1 beam, are placed at beam centre, optical and millimetre-wave Bessel-Gaussian beams show ~6?dB and ~8?dB reduction in crosstalk, respectively.
Project description:Interferometry is one of the central organizing principles of optics. Key to interferometry is the concept of optical delay, which facilitates spectral analysis in terms of time-harmonics. In contrast, when analyzing a beam in a Hilbert space spanned by spatial modes - a critical task for spatial-mode multiplexing and quantum communication - basis-specific principles are invoked that are altogether distinct from that of 'delay'. Here, we extend the traditional concept of temporal delay to the spatial domain, thereby enabling the analysis of a beam in an arbitrary spatial-mode basis - exemplified using Hermite-Gaussian and radial Laguerre-Gaussian modes. Such generalized delays correspond to optical implementations of fractional transforms; for example, the fractional Hankel transform is the generalized delay associated with the space of Laguerre-Gaussian modes, and an interferometer incorporating such a 'delay' obtains modal weights in the associated Hilbert space. By implementing an inherently stable, reconfigurable spatial-light-modulator-based polarization-interferometer, we have constructed a 'Hilbert-space analyzer' capable of projecting optical beams onto any modal basis.
Project description:Light scattered by turbid tissue is known to degrade optical coherence tomography (OCT) image contrast progressively with depth. Bessel beams have been proposed as an alternative to Gaussian beams to image deeper into turbid tissue. However, studies of turbid tissue comparing the image quality for different beam types are lacking. We present such a study, using numerically simulated beams and experimental OCT images formed by Bessel or Gaussian beams illuminating phantoms with optical properties spanning a range typical of soft tissue. We demonstrate that, for a given scattering parameter, the higher the scattering anisotropy the lower the OCT contrast, regardless of the beam type. When focusing both beams at the same depth in the sample, we show that, at focus and for equal input power and resolution, imaging with the Gaussian beam suffers less reduction of contrast. This suggests that, whilst Bessel beams offer extended depth of field in a single depth scan, for low numerical aperture (NA < 0.1) and typical soft tissue properties (scattering coefficient, ?s = 3.7 mm(-1) and high scattering anisotropy, g > 0.95), superior contrast (by up to ~40%) may be obtained over an extended depth range by a Gaussian beam combined with dynamic focusing.
Project description:The uniform energy distribution of top-hat laser beams is a very attractive property that can offer some advantages compared to Gaussian beams. Especially, the desired intensity distribution can be achieved at the laser spot through energy redistribution across the beam spatial profile and, thus, to minimize and even eliminate some inherent shortcomings in laser micro-processing. This paper reports an empirical study that investigates the effects of top-hat beam processing in micro-structuring and compares the results with those obtainable with a conventional Gaussian beam. In particular, a refractive field mapping beam shaper was used to obtain a top-hat profile and the effects of different scanning strategies, pulse energy settings, and accumulated fluence, i.e., hatch and pulse distances, were investigated. In general, the top-hat laser processing led to improvements in surface and structuring quality. Especially, the taper angle was reduced while the surface roughness and edge definition were also improved compared to structures produced with Gaussian beams. A further decrease of the taper angle was achieved by combining hatching with some outlining beam passes. The scanning strategies with only outlining beam passes led to very high ablation rates but in expense of structuring quality. Improvements in surface roughness were obtained with a wide range of pulse energies and pulse and hatch distances when top-hat laser processing was used.
Project description:Nonlinear beam shaping refers to spatial reconfiguration of a light beam at a new frequency, which can be achieved by using nonlinear photonic crystals (NPCs). Direct nonlinear beam shaping has been achieved to convert second-harmonic waves into focusing spots, vortex beams, and diffraction-free beams. However, previous nonlinear beam shaping configurations in one-dimensional and two-dimensional (2D) NPCs generally suffer from low efficiency because of unfulfilled phase-matching condition. Here, we present efficient generations of second-harmonic vortex and Hermite-Gaussian beams in the recently-developed three-dimensional (3D) lithium niobate NPCs fabricated by using a femtosecond-laser-engineering technique. Since 3D ?<sup>(2)</sup> modulations can be designed to simultaneously fulfill the requirements of nonlinear wave-front shaping and quasi-phase-matching, the conversion efficiency is enhanced up to two orders of magnitude in a tens-of-microns-long 3D NPC in comparison to the 2D case. Efficient nonlinear beam shaping paves a way for its applications in optical communication, super-resolution imaging, high-dimensional entangled source, etc.
Project description:Spatial structure of a light beam is an important degree of freedom to be extensively explored. By designing simple configurations with phase-only spatial light modulators (SLMs), we show the ability to arbitrarily manipulate the spatial full field information (i.e. amplitude and phase) of a light beam. Using this approach to facilitating arbitrary and independent control of spatial amplitude and phase, one can flexibly generate different special kinds of light beams for different specific applications. Multiple collinear orbital angular momentum (OAM) beams, Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beams, and Bessel beams, having both spatial amplitude and phase distributions, are successfully generated in the experiments. Some arbitrary beams with odd-shaped intensity are also generated in the experiments.
Project description:We analyse theoretically the spatiotemporal dynamics of two incoherent counterpropagating Airy beams interacting in a photorefractive crystal under focusing conditions. For a large enough nonlinearity strength the interaction between the two Airy beams leads to light-induced waveguiding. The stability of the waveguide is determined by the crystal length, the nonlinearity strength and the beam's intensities and is improved when comparing to the situation using Gaussian beams. We further identify the threshold above which the waveguide is no longer static but evolves dynamically either time-periodically or even chaotically. Above the stability threshold, each Airy-soliton moves erratically between privileged output positions that correspond to the spatial positions of the lobes of the counterpropagating Airy beam. These results suggest new ways of creating dynamically varying waveguides, optical logic gates and chaos-based computing.