Abstract

The interaction of optical vortices (or phase singularities, or screw dislocations) with ordinary matter is treated with a simple approach. Using the total internal reflection phenomenon and the superposition of four plane waves incident on a material with a refractive index lower than the original propagating medium, we are able to show the birth and annihilation of optical vortices in an evanescent field with curved topological features. Until now, this phenomenon has been explored only in free space propagation. By a suitable tuning process involving the incident angles and the amplitudes of the incident plane waves, it is possible to create unusual topological features of optical vortices in the vicinity of the material. We believe that this work can open new aspects of curved optical vortex manipulation in near-field optics.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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