Abstract

The nonlinear propagation characteristics of a radially polarized (RP) beam in uniaxially aligned dye-doped liquid crystal (DDLC) are investigated in experiments and theory. The photothermal effect produces changes in the refractive index of the nonlinear polarization-sensitive medium, in both ordinary and extraordinary directions. The changes promote a self-modulation of the polarization pattern in the incident RP beam as it propagates through the DDLC. The experimental results are explained from theory by modeling the change in the refractive index of the medium. Our results may be applied to spatial polarization modulation, by which an axially symmetric polarized beam is converted into another structured light, such as the full Poincaré beam.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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