Perfect terahertz vortex beams formed using diffractive axicons and prospects for excitation of vortex surface plasmon polaritons

Boris Knyazev, Valery Cherkassky, Oleg Kameshkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transformation of a Bessel beam by a lens results in the formation of a “perfect” vortex beam (PVB) in the focal plane of the lens. The PVB has a single-ring cross-section and carries an orbital angular momentum (OAM) equal to the OAM of the “parent” beam. PVBs have numerous applications based on the assumption of their ideal ring-type structure. For instance, we proposed using terahertz PVBs to excite vortex surface plasmon polaritons propagating along cylindrical conductors and the creation of plasmon multiplex communication lines in the future (Comput. Opt. 2019, 43, 992). Recently, we demonstrated the formation of PVBs in the terahertz range using a Bessel beam produced using a spiral binary silicon axicon (Phys. Rev. A 2017, 96, 023846). It was shown that, in that case, the PVB was not annular, but was split into nested spiral segments, which was obviously a consequence of the method of Bessel beam generation. The search for methods of producing perfect beams with characteristics approaching theoretically possible ones is a topical task. Since for the terahertz range, there are no devices like spatial modulators of light in the visible range, the main method for controlling the mode composition of beams is the use of diffractive optical elements. In this work, we investigated the characteristics of perfect beams, the parent beams being quasi-Bessel beams created by three types of diffractive phase axicons made of high-resistivity silicon: Binary, kinoform, and “holographic”. The amplitude-phase distributions of the field in real perfect beams were calculated numerically in the approximation of the scalar diffraction theory. An analytical expression was obtained for the case of the binary axicon. It was shown that a distribution closest to an ideal vortex was obtained using a holographic axicon. The resulting distributions were compared with experimental and theoretical distributions of the evanescent field of a plasmon near the gold-zinc sulfide-air surface at different thicknesses of the dielectric layer, and recommendations for experiments were given.

Original languageEnglish
Article number717
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


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