Design of Transverse Spinning of Light with Globally Unique Handedness

Xianji Piao, Sunkyu Yu, Namkyoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Access to the transverse spin of light has unlocked new regimes in topological photonics. To achieve the transverse spin from nonzero longitudinal fields, various platforms that derive transversely confined waves based on focusing, interference, or evanescent waves have been suggested. Nonetheless, because of the transverse confinement inherently accompanying sign reversal of the field derivative, the resulting transverse spin handedness of each field experiences spatial inversion, which leads to a mismatch between the intensities of the field and its spin component and hinders the global observation of the transverse spin. Here, we reveal a globally pure transverse spin of the electric field in which the field intensity signifies the spin distribution. Starting from the target spin mode for the inverse design of required spatial profiles of anisotropic permittivities, we show that the elliptic-hyperbolic transition around the epsilon-near-zero permittivity allows for the global conservation of transverse spin handedness of the electric field across the topological interface between anisotropic metamaterials. Extending to the non-Hermitian regime, we develop annihilated transverse spin modes to cover the entire Poincaré sphere of the meridional plane. This result realizes the complete optical analogy of three-dimensional quantum spin states.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203901
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 15 May 2018


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