Transmission of vector vortex beams in dispersive media

Structured light has been proven to be a versatile tool for investigation both in the classical and in the quantum regime. In particular, light carrying Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) has attracted significant attention in biomedical applications of imaging and diagnosis and has been employed as for non-invasive in-vivo diagnostic. Thus, a comprehensive study of OAM mode propagation in scattering media is of fundamental importance. Previous works have investigated the comparison between propagation through media mimicking tissue properties of OAM and Gaussian beams. 
In this work, we have extended the investigation to higher-complexity beams, by addressing correlations between the spatial and polarization profiles through the use of Vector Vortex Beams (VVB). These states present particular polarization patterns coupled with the spatial profile and have been shown to provide several advantages in different quantum applications. VVB are obtained by coupling the helicoidal wavefront with a non-uniform distribution of the polarization. In particular, we have performed a comprehensive study of transmission of VVB modes in scattering media, composed by latex beads in water solution, analysing experimentally both the spatial profile and the polarization pattern degradations. The results obtained represent the first thorough analysis of structured light transmission through scattering media, and open the way to further investigations and applications in the fields of medical bioengineering and cancer detection.

Ilaria Gianani, Alessia Suprano, Taira Giordani, Nicolò Spagnolo, Fabio Sciarrino, Dimitris Gorpas, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Katja Pinker, Netanel Biton, Judy Kupferman, Shlomi Arnon, Advanced Photonics 2(3), 036003 (2020). Published: 22 May 2020.