An optical encryption method based on a geometrical phase produced by space-variant polarization manipulation is presented. The decrypted picture is retrieved either by a polarization measurement of the beam emerging from the encrypted element or by a single intensity measurement of the beam transmitted through the encrypted element followed by an optical key element. Both elements are realized by use of computer-generated space-variant subwavelength dielectric gratings. Theoretical analyses of the optical concept are presented along with experimental results.
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