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Improving purity of the radially polarized beam generated by a geometric phase retarder with spatially variable retardance

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Abstract

Geometric phase retarders—such as q-plates and S-waveplates—have found wide applications due to simplicity of operational principles and flexibility for the generation of azimuthally symmetric polarization states and optical vortices. Ellipticity of the polarization vector and phase of the generated beam strongly depend on the retardation of the plate. Real devices usually have retardation value slightly different than the nominated one. Previously unattended perturbation of the retardation leads to asymmetry in intensity distribution and variation of ellipticity of the local polarization vector of the generated beam. We elucidate that controlled and intentionally driven azimuthally variable, oscillating perturbation of the retardation reveals the possibility to avoid distortions in the generated beam and leads to the recovery of the symmetrically distributed intensity and polarization (with zero ellipticity) of the beam. Described recovery of the desired polarization state could find application for generation of the high purity beam with azimuthally symmetric polarization, in which the local polarization ellipse has zero ellipticity.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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