Abstract

We encode q-plates where the angular orientation of the principal axis is varied spatially with a nonstandard distribution. In the usual q-plate design, the orientation of the optical axis depends linearly on the azimuthal angle. In this work, we examine cases where this azimuthal dependence is nonlinear. We consider two cases: first, where the principal axis distribution is like an inverse-tangent function of the azimuth; and second, where it displays linear and flat segments. This last case is proposed as a new method for encoding binary data into the azimuthal lobes of the vector beam. We encode these patterns using a spatial light modulator system that allows new and exotic q-plate designs without the difficulty of fabricating individual plates. Experimental results are presented.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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