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Longitudinally polarized optical needles are beams that exhibit ultra-long depth of field, subwavelength transverse confinement, and polarization oriented along the longitudinal direction. Although several techniques have been proposed to generate such needles, their scarce experimental observations have been indirect and incomplete. Here, we demonstrate the creation and full three-dimensional verification of a longitudinally polarized optical needle. This needle is produced by generating a radially polarized Bessel-Gauss beam at the focus of a high numerical aperture microscope objective. Using three-dimensional spatial mapping of second-harmonic generation from a single vertically aligned GaAs nanowire, we directly verify such a longitudinally polarized optical needle's properties, which are formed at the focus. The needle exhibits a dominant polarization, which is oriented along the longitudinal direction, an ultra-long depth of field (30 λ), and high spatial homogeneity. These are in agreement with corresponding focal field calculations that use vector diffraction theory. Our findings open new opportunities for manipulation and utilization of longitudinally polarized optical needles.
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- 1 Finished
01/10/2013 → 31/12/2018
Project: Business Finland: Other research funding