Abstract

Phase and polarization are interrelated quantities, and hence polarization elements that perform like phase elements can be designed. In this Letter, we show that a polarizing element producing a negative Poincare–Hopf (PH) index beam can be used as a spatial filter to perform edge enhancement. Either isotropic or anisotropic edge enhancement can be achieved by polarization selection of the light that illuminates the sample. A conventional microscope imaging system is modified into a polarization-selective optical Fourier processor. Experimental results are presented to show that negative PH index filters, producing a set of orthogonal polarization distribution and their superpositions, can also be used for edge enhancement in optical signal processing.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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