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  • Received: Jan. 6, 2020

    Accepted: Mar. 30, 2020

    Posted: Mar. 30, 2020

    Published Online: May. 9, 2020

    The Author Email: Jiawen Li (, Dong Wu (

    DOI: 10.1364/PRJ.387495

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    Ze Cai, Xinbo Qi, Deng Pan, Shengyun Ji, Jincheng Ni, Zhaoxin Lao, Chen Xin, Jiawen Li, Yanlei Hu, Dong Wu, Jiaru Chu. Dynamic Airy imaging through high-efficiency broadband phase microelements by femtosecond laser direct writing[J]. Photonics Research, 2020, 8(6): 06000875

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Photonics Research, Vol. 8, Issue 6, 06000875 (2020)

Dynamic Airy imaging through high-efficiency broadband phase microelements by femtosecond laser direct writing

Ze Cai1, Xinbo Qi1, Deng Pan1, Shengyun Ji1, Jincheng Ni1, Zhaoxin Lao1, Chen Xin1, Jiawen Li1,2,*, Yanlei Hu1, Dong Wu1,3,*, and Jiaru Chu1

Author Affiliations

  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Mechanical Behavior and Design of Materials, Department of Precision Machinery and Precision Instrumentation, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China
  • 2e-mail:
  • 3e-mail:


Manipulating Airy beams to symmetric Airy beams (SABs) with abruptly autofocusing and self-accelerating properties has attracted much attention. With such a particular propagation dynamic, SABs may provide great potential in dynamic signal imaging. On the other hand, the generation of SABs by spatial light modulators suffers from the limitations of phase gradient accuracy, low optical efficiency (<40%), and a bulky footprint. Therefore, exploring imaging applications and optimal generation methods of these Airy-type beams deserves further research. Here, based on the coordinate transformation of SAB, an asymmetric Airy beam (AAB) is realized. Symmetric/asymmetric cubic phase microplates (SCPPs/ACPPs) are designed and fabricated for generating SAB/AAB. The SCPP/ACPP demonstrates superior performance: compact construction (60 μm×60 μm×1.1 μm), continuous variation of phase, high efficiency (81% at 532 nm), and broadband operation from 405 to 780 nm. Dynamic imaging under monochromatic and polychromatic lights is realized by the SAB/AAB, indicating various results at different propagation distances with a certain initial signal. Further investigation reveals that the SCPP on a soft substrate maintains its physical dimensions and optical properties unchanged during stretching. Our work enables wide potential applications in integrated optics, beam manipulation, and imaging.

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