Laboratory demonstration of an optical vortex mask coronagraph using photonic crystal


Naoshi Murakami, Naoshi Baba, Akitoshi Ise, Moritsugu Sakamoto, Kazuhiko Oka


Hokkaido University


Photonic crystal, artificial periodic nanostructure, is an attractive device for constructing focal-plane phase-mask coronagraphs such as segmented phase masks (four-quadrant, eight-octant, and 4N-segmented ones) and an optical vortex mask (OVM), because of its extremely small manufacturing defect. Recently, speckle-noise limited contrast has been demonstrated for two monochromatic lasers by using the eight-octant phase-mask made of the photonic crystal (Murakami et al. 2010, ApJ, 714, 772). We applied the photonic-crystal device to the OVM coronagraph. The OVM is more advantageous over the segmented phase masks because it does not have discontinuities other than a central singular point and provides a full on-sky field of view. For generating an achromatic optical vortex, we manufactured an axially-symmetric half-wave plate (ASHWP). It is expected that a size of the manufacturing defect due to the central singularity is an order of several hundreds nanometers. The ASHWP is placed between two circular polarizers for modulating a Pancharatnam phase. A continuous spiral phase modulation is then implemented achromatically. We carried out preliminary laboratory demonstration of the OVM coronagraph using two monochromatic lasers as a model star (wavelengths of 532 nm and 633 nm). We report a principle of the achromatic optical-vortex generation, and results of the laboratory demonstration of the OVM coronagraph.

Attached documents

Lyot2010proc s8 poster MurakamiN.pdf
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