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For the first time, optical vortices of a high numerical aperture speckle pattern could be imaged thanks to superresolution STED microscopy.

The topological charge of vortices could be identified by modulating the axial field with impinging polarization. These results are expected to find applications for super-resolution microscopy in scattering samples.

Annihilation of the pair of optical vortices
Annihilation of the pair of optical vortices
Overlay of the STED images of two regions bleached with a single scattering phase pattern but with two orthogonal circular polarizations (a) (radiation fluence is 8Fs=12.8  mJ⋅μm−2). Circular polarization allows identifying the charge of phase vortices. Two phase vortices of opposite charge are identified (b). Axial displacement of the bleaching pattern by steps of 1  μm reveals the annihilation of this pair of optical vortices with propagation (c). The handedness of phase vortices is identified by the handedness of circular polarization. Scale bars: (a) 1  μm, (b) 200 nm.

Superresolution Imaging of Optical Vortices in a Speckle Pattern
Marco Pascucci, Gilles Tessier, Valentina Emiliani, and Marc Guillon
Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 093904 – Published 4 March 2016

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