Abstract

The tight focusing properties of optical fields combining a spiral phase and cylindrically symmetric state of polarization are presented. First, we theoretically analyze the mathematical characterization, Stokes parameters, and Poincaré sphere representations of arbitrary cylindrical vector (CV) vortex beams. Then, based on the vector diffraction theory, we derive and build an integrated analytical model to calculate the electromagnetic field and Poynting vector distributions of the input CV vortex beams. The calculations reveal that a generalized CV vortex beam can generate a sharper focal spot than that of a radially polarized (RP) plane beam in the focal plane. Besides, the focal size decrease accompanies its elongation along the optical axis. Hence, it seems that there is a trade-off between the transverse and axial resolutions. In addition, under the precondition that the absolute values between polarization order and topological charge are equal, a higher-order CV vortex can also achieve a smaller focal size than an RP plane beam. Further, the intensity for the sidelobe admits a significant suppression. To give a deep understanding of the peculiar focusing properties, the magnetic field and Poynting vector distributions are also demonstrated in detail. These properties may be helpful in applications such as optical trapping and manipulation of particles and superresolution microscopy imaging.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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