Pancharatnam-Berry phase of optical systems
Julio C. Gutierrez-Vega, Opt. Lett., 36, 1143-1145 (2011)

Research areas

The main areas of research of the Photonics and Mathematical Optics Group (PMOG) cover the fields of classical optical beams and propagation, including Bessel, Mathieu and parabolic nondiffracting beams, Ince-Gaussian beams, propagation of spatial solitons in local and non-local media, as well as numerical methods of special functions, complex source theory, and laser resonators.

Beam Shaping
We are developing novel methods for shaping laser beams in useful ways. Working with phase-only spatial light modulators, we look for schemes to produce algorithms that result in higher efficiency and enhanced overall performance. We perform numerical simulations to tests our algorithms and compare them to current state-of-the-art methods.

Soliton propagation and nonlinear optics
Over the past years our group have done research about very special beams of light that don’t experiment diffraction in propagation into nonlinear media: the spatial optical solitons. In addition, these beams behave like particles interacting with each other and producing very interesting phenomena such as light bending. In particular, we are interested in study soliton properties in different nonlinear media and in the propagation of solitons in optical lattices. Our soliton group is small but we have already done important contributions in this area:
• Discovering of ellipticons: elliptically modulated self-trapped singular beams in isotropic nonlinear media, where nonlocality plays a crucial role in their existence.
• Explanation of the relation between the Helmholtz Gauss beams and solitons in highly nonlocal nonlinear media.
• Demonstration that Mathieu optical lattices allow novel soliton dynamics of propagation.
• Routing of solitons with varying angular rotation velocity in modulated Bessel lattices.

In collaboration with the Nonlinear Physics Centre, headed by Professor Yuri S. Kivshar in the Australian National University, we have done the following contributions:
• First example of stable rotating dipole solitons in nonlocal nonlinear media.
• Demonstration of the stabilization of azimuthons: azimuthally modulated self-trapped rotating singular optical beams by a spatial nonlocal response.
• First experimental observation of self-trapped light in modulated Bessel optical lattices.

Recently and in collaboration with the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, ICFO, headed by Professor Lluis Torner, we have done the following contribution:
• Creation of an iterative Fourier method to produce very arbitrary optical lattices with the original purpose of study novel soliton propagation phenomena.

Our current projects deal with soliton propagation into dynamical optical lattices, soliton as billiard-like systems and solitons with unusual topologies.

Optical trapping
The manipulation of objects with laser tweezers is an area of research of rapid growth. With optical manipulation tools, many issues of biomedicine can be tackled, such as cell-membrane dynamics and protein-enzyme interactions. We integrate optical tweezers with microfluidics in order to study the suitability of water-soluble droplets as containers for chemical reagents. These microscopic vessels open new possibilities for observing biochemical dynamics at molecular level through the manipulation of single-molecules.


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