Optical Vortex Transmutation with Geometric Metasurfaces of Rotational Symmetry Breaking


The free-space optical vortex transmutation is realized by using geometric plasmonic metasurfaces with the designed noncanonical vortex phase profiles possessing discrete rotational symmetries of finite order. Based on the introduced continuous-to-discrete rotational symmetry breaking in metasurfaces, the vortex transmutation phenomena are observed behind the metasurfaces from the near-field to far-field diffraction in free space. The near-field optical beam profile represents the input vortex, while in the far field the input vortex is diffracted into the central output vortex with topological charge determined by the transmutation rule and the symmetrically distributed off-axis vortices with unity topological charge bifurcating from the input vortex, with the total orbital angular momentum conserved. The demonstrated free-space optical vortex transformation will promise many potential applications related to optical communication, particle manipulation, and quantum information processing.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)


The authors acknowledge support from the Office of Naval Research under Grant No. N00014-16-1-2408 and the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. ECCS-1653032 and DMR-1552871. The authors thank the facility support from the Materials Research Center at Missouri S&T.

Keywords and Phrases

Geometric Phase; Metasurfaces; Orbital Angular Momentum; Vortex Transmutation

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

18 Nov 2019