Metafiber transforming arbitrarily structured light
preprintposted on 2023-03-01, 17:00 authored by Chenhao Li, Torsten Wieduwilt, Fedja J. Wendisch, Andrés Márquez, Leonardo de S. Menezes, Stefan A. Maier, Markus A. Schmidt, Haoran Ren
Structured light has proven useful for numerous photonic applications. However, the current use of structured light in optical fiber science and technology is severely limited by mode mixing or by the lack of optical elements that can be integrated onto fiber end-faces for complex wavefront control, and hence generation of structured light is still handled outside the fiber via bulky optics in free space. We report a metafiber platform capable of creating arbitrarily structured light on the hybrid-order Poincar\'e sphere. Polymeric metasurfaces, with unleashed height degree of freedom and a greatly expanded 3D meta-atom library, were laser nanoprinted and interfaced with polarization-maintaining single-mode fibers. Multiple metasurfaces were interfaced on the fiber end-faces, transforming the fiber output into different structured-light fields, including cylindrical vector beams, circularly polarized vortex beams, and an arbitrary vector field. Our work provides a new paradigm for advancing optical fiber science and technology towards fiber-integrated light shaping, which may find important applications in fiber communications, fiber lasers and sensors, endoscopic imaging, fiber lithography, and lab-on-fiber technology.