Metasurface polarization optics—platforms that can structure light’s polarization point-by-point at the nanoscale—have enabled compact polarization imaging and characterization systems. However, so far these schemes (and conventional polarization optics) can only control incoming polarization in one plane, transverse to the propagation direction. In a recent effort, we have introduced a new class of metasurface polarization optics which can perform parallel processing on incoming light over multiple planes along the propagation direction. After a single interaction with our new devices, the output light modifies its polarization state as it propagates as if encountering several virtual polarizing elements located along its path. This can address many challenges in biomedical imaging where remote control over the light's polarization over multiple penetration depths within a sample, without destroying it, is highly desired. Our new devices can also be exploited in light-matter interaction and sensing in 3D and may reveal new physical phenomena at the single photon level.
The lead author for this publication is Dr Ahmed H. Dorrah.