Abstract

In this study, we develop a simple but highly effective technique that generates a continuously varying polarization within a laser beam. This is achieved by having orthogonal linear polarizations on each side of the beam. By simply focusing such a laser beam, we can attain a gradually and continuously changing polarization within the entire Rayleigh range due to diffraction. To demonstrate this polarization distribution, we apply this laser beam onto a metal surface and create a continuously rotating laser induced periodic surface structure pattern. This technique provides a very effective way to produce complex surface structures that may potentially find applications, such as polarization modulators and metasurfaces.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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