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Chinese Optics Letters, Vol. 17, Issue 4, 040101 (2019)

Free-space propagation of autofocusing Airy vortex beams with controllable intensity gradients 

Xu Yan1,2,3, Lixin Guo1,2,3,*, Mingjian Cheng2, and Shuirong Chai2

Author Affiliations

  • 1State Key Laboratory of Integrated Service Networks, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
  • 2School of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
  • 3School of Electronic Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China


Vortex splitting is one of the main causes of instability in orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes transmission. Recent advances in OAM modes free-space propagation have demonstrated that abruptly autofocusing Airy vortex beams (AAVBs) can potentially mitigate the vortex splitting effect. However, different modes of vortex embedding will affect the intensity gradients of the background beams, leading to changes in the propagation characteristics of vortex beams. This study presents the unification of two common methods of coupling autofocusing Airy beams with vortices by introducing a parameter (m), which also controls the intensity gradients and focusing properties of the AAVBs. We demonstrate that vortex splitting can be effectively reduced by selecting an appropriate value of the parameter (m) according to different turbulence conditions. In this manner, the performance of OAM-based free-space optical systems can be improved.