Original Article

Citation: Light: Science & Applications (2015) 4, e330; doi:10.1038/lsa.2015.103
Published online 25 September 2015

Plasmonic polarization generator in well-routed beaming
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Lin Li1,2, Tao Li1,2, Xia-Mei Tang1,2, Shu-Ming Wang1,2, Qian-Jin Wang1,2 and Shi-Ning Zhu1,2

  1. 1National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China
  2. 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Correspondence: T Li, Email: taoli@nju.edu.cn, URL: http://dsl.nju.edu.cn/litao/

Received 1 January 2015; Revised 27 April 2015; Accepted 6 May 2015

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Abstract

As one of the recent advances of optics and photonics, plasmonics has enabled unprecedented optical designs. Having a vectorial configuration of surface plasmon field, metallic nanostructures offer efficient solutions in polarization control with a very limited sample thickness. Many compact polarization devices have been realized using such metallic nanostructures. However, in most of these devices, the functions were usually simple and limited to a few polarization states. Here, we demonstrated a plasmonic polarization generator that can reconfigure an input polarization to all types of polarization states simultaneously. The plasmonic polarization generator is based on the interference of the in-plane (longitudinal) field of the surface plasmons that gives rise to versatile near-field polarization states on a metal surface, which have seldom been considered in previous studies. With a well-designed nanohole array, the in-plane field of SPPs with proper polarization states and phases can be selectively scattered out to the desired light beams. A manifestation of eight focusing beams with well-routed polarizations was experimentally demonstrated. Our design offers a new route to achieve the full control of optical polarizations and possibly advance the development in photonic information processing.

Keywords:

near-field interference; phase modulation; plasmonics; polarization generator