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Spin-to-Orbital Angular Momentum Conversion via Light Intensity Gradient

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posted on 2023-01-11, 23:13 authored by Shuang-Yin Huang, Guan-Lin Zhang, Qiang Wang, Min Wang, Chenghou Tu, Yongnan Li, Hui-Tian Wang
Besides a linear momentum, optical fields carry an angular momentum (AM), which have two intrinsic components: one is spin angular momentum (SAM) related to the polarization state of the field, and the other is orbital angular momentum (OAM) caused by the helical phase due to the existence of topological azimuthal charge. The two AM components of the optical field may not be independent of each other, and the Spin-to-Orbital AM conversion (STOC) under focusing will create a spin-dependent optical vortex in the longitudinal filed. Here we demonstrate a new mechanism (or novel way, new way, specific process) for the STOC based on a radial intensity gradient. The radial phase provides an effective way to control the local AM density, which induce counterintuitive orbital motion of isotropic particles in optical tweezers without intrinsic OAM. Our work not only provides fundamental insights into the spin-orbit interaction of light, but also push towards possible applications in optical micro-manipulation.

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