Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Superposition of nonparaxial vectorial complex-source spherically focused beams: Axial Poynting singularity and reverse propagation

F. G. Mitri

In this work, counterintuitive effects such as the generation of an axial (i.e., long the direction of wave motion) zero-energy flux density (i.e., axial Poynting singularity) and reverse (i.e., negative) propagation of nonparaxial quasi-Gaussian electromagnetic (EM) beams are examined. Generalized analytical expressions for the EM field's components of a coherent superposition of two high-order quasi-Gaussian vortex beams of opposite handedness and different amplitudes are derived based on the complex-source-point method, stemming from Maxwell's vector equations and the Lorenz gauge condition. The general solutions exhibiting unusual effects satisfy the Helmholtz and Maxwell's equations. The EM beam components are characterized by nonzero integer degree and order (n,m), respectively, an arbitrary waist w0, a diffraction convergence length known as the Rayleigh range zR, and a weighting (real) factor 0≤α≤1 that describes the transition of the beam from a purely vortex (α=0) to a nonvortex (α=1) type. An attractive feature for this superposition is the description of strongly focused (or strongly divergent) wave fields. Computations of the EM power density as well as the linear and angular momentum density fluxes illustrate the analysis with particular emphasis on the polarization states of the vector potentials forming the beams and the weight of the coherent beam superposition causing the transition from the vortex to the nonvortex type. Should some conditions determined by the polarization state of the vector potentials and the beam parameters be met, an axial zero-energy flux density is predicted in addition to a negative retrograde propagation effect. Moreover, rotation reversal of the angular momentum flux density with respect to the beam handedness is anticipated, suggesting the possible generation of negative (left-handed) torques. The results are particularly useful in applications involving the design of strongly focused optical laser tweezers, tractor beams, optical spanners, arbitrary scattering, radiation force, angular momentum, and torque in particle manipulation, and other related topics.

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