Nanoscale light fields near nanoplasmonic objects can be highly structured and can contain highly-subwavelength features. Here, we present the results of our search for the simplest plasmonic system that contains, and can be used to control, the smallest such optical feature: an optical singularity. Specifically, we study the field around subwavelength holes in a metal film and look for polarization singularities. These can be circular (C)-points, at which the polarization is circular, or linear (L)-lines, where the polarization is linear. We find that, depending on the polarization of the incident light, two or three holes are sufficient to create a wealth of these singularities. Moreover, we find for the two-hole system that C-points are created in multiples of eight. This can be explained using symmetry arguments and conservation laws. We are able to predict where these singularities are created, their index and the topology of the field surrounding them. These results demonstrate the promise of this plasmonic platform as a tool for studying and controlling fundamental properties of light fields and may be important to applications where control over these properties is required at the nanoscale.

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Publisher MDPI
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Journal Photonics
de Hoogh, A, Kuipers, L, Visser, T. D, & Rotenberg, N. (2015). Creating and controlling polarization singularities in plasmonic fields. Photonics, 2(2), 553–567. doi:10.3390/photonics2020553