Abstract

The scheme for generating vector optical fields should have not only high efficiency but also flexibility for satisfying the requirements of various applications. However, in general, high efficiency and flexibility are not compatible. Here we present and experimentally demonstrate a solution to directly, flexibly, and efficiently generate vector vortex optical fields (VVOFs) with a reflective phase-only liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM) based on optical birefringence of liquid crystal molecules. To generate the VVOFs, this approach needs in principle only a half-wave plate, an LC-SLM, and a quarter-wave plate. This approach has some advantages, including a simple experimental setup, good flexibility, and high efficiency, making the approach very promising in some applications when higher power is need. This approach has a generation efficiency of 44.0%, which is much higher than the 1.1% of the common path interferometric approach.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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