Abstract

We report the results of studies of the torsion effect on the optical birefringence in LiNbO3 crystals. We found that the twisting of those crystals causes a birefringence distribution revealing nontrivial peculiarities. In particular, they have a special point at the center of the cross section perpendicular to the torsion axis where the zero birefringence value occurs. It has also been ascertained that the surface of the spatial birefringence distribution has a conical shape, with the cone axis coinciding with the torsion axis. We revealed that an optical vortex, with a topological charge equal to unity, appears under the torsion of LiNbO3 crystals. It has been shown that, in contrast to the q plate, both the efficiency of spin-orbital coupling and the orbital momentum of the emergent light can be operated by the torque moment.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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