Abstract

Vortex vector optical fields (VVOFs) refer to a kind of vector optical field with an azimuth-variant polarization and a helical phase, simultaneously. Such a VVOF is defined by the topological index of the polarization singularity and the topological charge of the phase vortex. We present a simple method to measure the topological charge and index of VVOFs by using a space-variant half-wave plate (SV-HWP). The geometric phase grating of the SV-HWP diffracts a VVOF into ±1 orders with orthogonally left- and right-handed circular polarizations. By inserting a polarizer behind the SV-HWP, the two circular polarization states project into the linear polarization and then interfere with each other to form the interference pattern, which enables the direct measurement of the topological charge and index of VVOFs.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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