Original Article

Citation: Light: Science & Applications (2017) 6, e17032; doi:10.1038/lsa.2017.32
Published online 25 August 2017

Three-dimensional super-resolution longitudinal magnetization spot arrays

Zhong-Quan Nie1, Han Lin2, Xiao-Fei Liu3, Ai-Ping Zhai1, Yan-Ting Tian1, Wen-Jie Wang1, Dong-Yu Li4, Wei-Qiang Ding5, Xue-Ru Zhang5, Ying-Lin Song5 and Bao-Hua Jia1,2

  1. 1Key Lab of Advanced Transducers and Intelligent Control Systems, Ministry of Education of Shanxi Province, College of Physics and Optoelectronics, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
  2. 2Centre for Micro-Photonics, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia
  3. 3Department of Science, Taiyuan Institute of Technology, Taiyuan 030008, China
  4. 4Department of Physics, Lingnan Normal University, Zhanjiang 524048, China
  5. 5Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China

Correspondence: BH Jia, Email: bjia@swin.edu.au

Received 14 September 2016; Revised 14 February 2017; Accepted 27 February 2017
Accepted article preview online 1 March 2017



We demonstrate an all-optical strategy for realizing spherical three-dimensional (3D) super-resolution (~λ3/22) spot arrays of pure longitudinal magnetization by exploiting a 4π optical microscopic setup with two high numerical aperture (NA) objective lenses, which focus and interfere two modulated vectorial beams. Multiple phase filters (MPFs) are designed via an analytical approach derived from the vectorial Debye diffraction theory to modulate the two circularly polarized beams. The system is tailored to constructively interfere the longitudinal magnetization components, while simultaneously destructively interfering the azimuthal ones. As a result, the magnetization field is not only purely longitudinal but also super-resolved in all three dimensions. Furthermore, the MPFs can be designed analytically to control the number and locations of the super-resolved magnetization spots to produce both uniform and nonuniform arrays in a 3D volume. Thus, an all-optical control of all the properties of light-induced magnetization spot arrays has been demonstrated for the first time. These results open up broad applications in magnetic-optical devices such as confocal and multifocal magnetic resonance microscopy, 3D ultrahigh-density magneto-optic memory, and light-induced magneto-lithography.


inverse Faraday effect; longitudinal magnetization; magnetic-optical devices; magneto-optics; vectorial beams; vectorial Debye diffraction theory