Single shot embedded surface plasmon microscopy with vortex illumination

Terry W.K. Chow, Suejit Pechprasarn, Jing Kai Meng, Michael Geoffrey Somekh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In previous work we demonstrated how a confocal microscope with a spatial light modulator in the back focal plane could perform accurate measurement of the k-vector of a propagating surface plasmon. This involved forming an embedded interferometer between light incident close to normal incidence (reference beam) and light incident at the angle to excite surface plasmons (sample beam). The signal from the interferometer was extracted by stepping the phase of the reference beam relative to the sample beam using a spatial light modulator; this requires at least 3 phase steps, which limits the speed of operation. To overcome this and extract the same information with a single measurement, we project an azimuthal varying phase between 0 and 2π in the central region of the back focal plane; corresponding to small angles of incidence. This projects a vortex beam as the reference, so that the phase of the reference beam varies with azimuthal angle. By extracting the interference signal from different portions of the reference beam, different phase steps between the reference and the sample are obtained, so all the values required for phase reconstruction can be extracted simultaneously. It is thus possible to obtain the same information with a single shot measurement, at each defocus position, without additional changes to the back focal plane illumination. Results are presented to show that the vortex illuminated sample provides similar results to the phase stepped version, whose values are, in turn, validated with ellipsometry and surface profilometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10797-10805
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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