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Generation of helical Ince–Gaussian beams with a liquid-crystal display

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Abstract

We generate helical Ince–Gaussian (HIG) beams by using complex amplitude and phase masks encoded onto a liquid-crystal display (LCD). These beams display an intensity pattern consisting of elliptic rings, whose number and ellipticity can be controlled, and a phase exhibiting a number of in-line vortices, each with a unitary topological charge. We show experimental results that display the properties of these elliptic dark hollow beams. We introduce a novel interference technique for generating the object and reference beams by using a single LCD and show the vortex interference patterns. We expect that these HIG beams will be useful in optical trapping applications.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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