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An ideal spiral phase plate based on liquid crystals and two high resistivity layers is proposed and theoretically analyzed. The proposed structure generates a spiral-like voltage with simple voltage control. The liquid crystal layer produces an optical phase shift that depends on the voltage distribution. These two effects cause light passing through the device to be twisted like a corkscrew around its travel axis. Because of the continuous phase shift, the proposed device is expected to exhibit a conversion efficiency of similar to 100%. In addition, this device is more efficient and simpler than previously reported optical vortex generators. Moreover, the device is completely reconfigurable, i.e., the operating wavelengths and topological charges are tunable. The device can be used to reduce the fabrication costs of current devices and generate different orbital angular momentum modes with improved light efficiency, simplicity, and possibility of reconfiguration.
temperature sensors; thin film sensors; liquid crystals; microstructure; orbital angular-momentum