1. School of Mechanics and Photoelectric Physics, Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan 232001, China;2. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China>
Phase is an important characteristic of electromagnetic waves. It is well known that a beam with a helical wave front characterized by a phase of exp(ilθ) (which depends on azimuthal angle θ and topological charge l), has a momentum component along the azimuthal direction, resulting in an orbital angular momentum of per photon along the beam axis. Owing to its fascinating properties, the beam has received a great deal of attention and has provided novel applications in manipulation of particles or atoms, optical communication, optical data storage. In order to meet the needs of various applications, techniques for efficiently generating optical beams carrying orbital angular momentum are always required. Current schemes for generating the beams carrying orbital angular momentum include computer-generated holograms, spiral phase plates, spatial light modulators, and silicon integrated optical vortex emitters. Among the usual methods to produce helical beams, the traditional spiral phase plate is an optical device that utilizes the progressive increasing of height of a dielectric material along an azimuthal direction to produce a vortex beam for beam phase modulation with a high conversion efficiency. However, it is difficult to regulate the topological charge l of the outgoing beam through the superposition of the phase plates due to the special geometric feature. In this paper, the flat spiral phase plate is designed by compressing the height of traditional spiral phase plate, and inducing the refractive index to increase in the azimuthal direction based on coordinate transformation. By means of theoretical analysis and numerical simulation, it is found that the flat spiral phase plate can produce high quality vortex beams just as the traditional spiral phase plate can do. Particularly, the height of the flat spiral phase plate and the topological charge l carried by the vortex beams can be arbitrarily adjusted according to the refractive index selection of the dielectric material. In order to meet the needs of practical applications, the vortex beams with different topological charges can be obtained by stacking multiple layers of flat spiral phase plates. The flat spiral phase plate has broad potential applications in the fields of optical transmission and optical communication.
Project supporetd by the Open Foundation Project of National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, China (Grant No. M31041) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11847002).