We develop a method for encoding information in the longitudinal component of a focused field. Focused beams display a non-zero contribution of the electric field in the direction of propagation. However, the associated irradiance is very weak and difficult to isolate from the transverse part of the beam. For these reasons, the longitudinal component of a focused field could be a good choice for encoding and securing information. Using the Richards and Wolf formalism we show how to encrypt information in the longitudinal domain of the focal area. In addition, we use quantum imaging techniques to enhance the security and to prevent unauthorized access to the information. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on using the longitudinal component of the focused fields in optical security.
© 2016 Optical Society of America
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