Three-dimensional Orientation-Unlimited Polarization Encryption by a Single Optically Configured Vectorial Beam

Nat Commun. 2012;3:998. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2006.


The interplay between light polarization and matter is the basis of many fundamental physical processes and applications. However, the electromagnetic wave nature of light in free space sets a fundamental limit on the three-dimensional polarization orientation of a light beam. Although a high numerical aperture objective can be used to bend the wavefront of a radially polarized beam to generate the longitudinal polarization state in the focal volume, the arbitrary three-dimensional polarization orientation of a beam has not been achieved yet. Here we present a novel technique for generating arbitrary three-dimensional polarization orientation by a single optically configured vectorial beam. As a consequence, by applying this technique to gold nanorods, orientation-unlimited polarization encryption with ultra-security is demonstrated. These results represent a new landmark of the orientation-unlimited three-dimensional polarization control of the light-matter interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't