Arbitrary Control of Polarization and Intensity Profiles of Diffraction-Attenuation-Resistant Beams along the Propagation Direction
We report on the theory and experimental generation of a class of diffraction-attenuation-resistant beams with state of polarization (SOP) and intensity that can be controlled on demand along the propagation direction. This control is achieved by a suitable superposition of Bessel beams, whose parameters are systematically chosen based on closed-form analytic expressions provided by the frozen waves method. Using an amplitude-only spatial light modulator, we experimentally demonstrate three scenarios. In the first, the SOP of a horizontally polarized beam evolves to radial polarization and is then changed to vertical polarization, with the beam intensity held constant. In the second, we simultaneously control the SOP and the longitudinal intensity profile, which is chosen such that the beam's central ring can be switched off over predefined space regions, thus generating multiple foci with different SOPs and at different intensity levels along the propagation. Finally, the ability to control the SOP while overcoming attenuation inside lossy fluids is shown experimentally. We envision our proposed method to be of great interest for many applications, such as optical tweezers, atom guiding, material processing, microscopy, and optical communications.