An optical vortex is a light wave with a twisting wavefront around its propagation axis and null intensity in the beam center. Its unique spatial structure of field lends itself to a broad range of applications, including optical communication, quantum information, superresolution microscopy, and multidimensional manipulation of particles. However, accessible intensity of optical vortices have been limited to material ionization threshold. This limitation might be removed by using the plasma medium. Here we propose the design of suitably magnetized plasmas which, functioning as a q-plate, leads to a direct conversion from a high-intensity Gaussian beam into a twisted beam. A circularly polarized laser beam in the plasma accumulates an azimuthal-angle-dependent phase shift and hence forms a twisting wavefront. Our three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate extremely high-power conversion efficiency. The plasma q-plate can work in a large range of frequencies spanning from terahertz to the optical domain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability