Abstract

We demonstrate a simple setup for generating a three-dimensional arbitrary orientation of the polarization vector in a laser focus. The key component is the superposition of a linearly and a radially polarized laser beam, which both can be controlled individually in intensity and relative phase. We exemplify the usefulness of this setup by determining the spatial orientation of a single silver nanorod in three- dimensional space by recording the angle-variable backscattered light intensity.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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