Abstract

We report on the experimental demonstration of super-resolved pure-transverse focal fields through focusing an azimuthally polarized first-order vortex (FOV) beam. The optimized confinement of focal fields by creating constructive interference through the superposition of the FOV on an azimuthally polarized beam is observed by both a scanning near-field microscope and a two-photon fluorescence microscope. An enhanced peak intensity of the focal spot by a factor of 1.8 has been observed compared with that of the unmodulated azimuthally polarized beam. The super-resolved and pure-transverse focal fields with a 31% reduced focal area determined by the full-width at half-maximum compared to that of tightly focused circular polarization is experimentally corroborated. This superiority over the circular polarization stands for any numerical aperture greater than 0.4. This technique holds the potential for applications requiring subwavelength resolution and pure-transverse fields such as high-density optical data storage and high-resolution microscopy.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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