We present a theoretical study of the characteristics of the nonlinear spin-orbital angular momentum coupling induced by second-harmonic generation in plasmonic and dielectric nanostructures made of centrosymmetric materials. In particular, the connection between the phase singularities and polarization helicities in the longitudinal components of the fundamental and second-harmonic optical fields and the scatterer symmetry properties are discussed. By in-depth comparison between the interaction of structured optical beams with plasmonic and dielectric nanostructures, we have found that all-dielectric and plasmonic nanostructures that exhibit magnetic and electric resonances have comparable second-harmonic conversion efficiency. In addition, mechanisms for second-harmonic enhancement for single and chiral clusters of scatterers are unveiled and the relationships between the content of optical angular momentum of the incident optical beams and the enhancement of nonlinear light scattering is discussed. In particular, we formulate a general angular momenta conservation law for the nonlinear spin-orbital angular momentum interaction, which includes the quasi-angular-momentum of chiral structures with different-order rotational symmetry. As a key conclusion of our study relevant to nanophotonics, we argue that all-dielectric nanostructures provide a more suitable platform to investigate experimentally the nonlinear interaction between spin and orbital angular momenta, as compared to plasmonic ones, chiefly due to their narrower resonance peaks, lower intrinsic losses, and higher sustainable optical power.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, Grant 648328

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2469-9969; 2469-9950

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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Publication Date

19 Apr 2017