Abstract

We propose a simple approach to broadband generation of orbital angular momentum (OAM) carrying vector beams based on compact metamaterials. It consists of two concentric rings in a gold film, where each ring is composed of subwavelength rectangular apertures with gradually varied orientation. The subwavelength rectangular aperture serves as a localized spatial polarizer. We show the generation of different OAM-carrying vector beams with OAM charge number and polarization order varying from 3 to +3 using a 11.2×11.2μm device. The extinction ratio can exceed 20 dB, and the operation bandwidth (1500 nm) can cover from 1000 to 2500 nm (from near-infrared to mid-infrared). The device provides three degrees of freedom (polarization order l, polarization of input beam σ, and initial orientation angle α0) to flexibly generate different OAM-carrying vector beams. We can use a single device to generate two OAM-carrying vector beams with opposite charge sign of OAM by simply controlling the polarization of the input beam. We further study the performance dependence of the designed metamaterials on the offset of the initial orientation angle, length, and width of the rectangular apertures. The obtained results indicate favorable fabrication tolerance.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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