Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Influence of evanescent wave on birefringent microplates

O.V. Angelsky, S.G. Hanson, P.P. Maksimyak, A.P. Maksimyak, C.Yu. Zenkova, P.V. Polyanskii, and D.I. Ivanskyi

Mechanical action caused by the optical forces connected with the canonical momentum density associated with the local wavevector or Belinfante’s spin angular momentum is experimentally verified. The helicity-dependent and the helicity-independent forces determined by spin momenta of different nature open attractive prospects for the use of optical structures for manipulating minute quantities of matter of importance in nanophysics, nanooptics and nanotechnologies, precision chemistry and pharmacology and in numerous other areas. Investigations in this area reveal new, extraordinary manifestations of optical forces, including the helicity-independent force caused by the transverse helicity-independent spin or vertical spin of a diagonally polarized wave, which was not observed and exploited up to recently. The main finding of our study consists in a direct experimental demonstration of the physical existence and mechanical action of this recently discovered extraordinary transverse component of the spin here arising in an evanescent light wave due to the total internal reflection of a linearly polarized probing beam with azimuthal angle 45° at the interface between the birefringent plate and air, which is oriented perpendicularly to the wavevector of an evanescent wave and localized over the boundary of the transparent media with polarization-dependent refraction indices.

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