Abstract

A novel tunable liquid crystal microaxicon array is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The proposed structure is capable of generating tunable axicons (thousands of elements) of micrometric size, with simple control (four control voltages) and low voltage, and is totally reconfigurable. Depending on the applied voltages, control over the diameter, as well as the effective wedge angle, can be achieved. Controls over the diameter ranging from 107 to 77 μm have been demonstrated. In addition, a control over the phase profile tunability, from 12π to 24π radians, has been demonstrated. This result modifies the effective cone angle. The diameter tunability, as well the effective cone angle, results in a control over the nondiffractive Bessel beam distance. The RMS wavefront deviation from the ideal axicon is only λ/3. The proposed device has several advantages over the existing microaxicon arrays, including being simple having a low cost. The device could contribute to developing new applications and to reducing the fabrication costs of current devices.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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