Tailoring multipolar Mie scattering with helicity and angular momentum

Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto, Xavier Vidal Asensio, Paweł Woźniak, Peter Banzer, Gabriel Molina-Terriza

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Linear scattering processes are usually described as a function of the parameters of the incident beam. The wavelength, the intensity distribution, the polarization or the phase are among them. Here, we discuss and experimentally demonstrate how the angular momentum and the helicity of light influence the light scattering of spherical particles. We measure the backscattering of a 4 μm diameter TiO₂ single particle deposited on a glass substrate. The particle is probed at different wavelengths by different beams with total angular momenta ranging from −8 to +8 units. It is observed that the spectral behavior of the particle is highly dependent on the angular momentum and helicity of the incoming beam. While some of the properties of the scattered field can be described with a simple resonator model, the scattering of high angular momentum beams requires a deeper understanding of the multipolar modes induced in the sphere. We observe that tailoring these induced multipolar modes can cause a shift and a spectral narrowing of the peaks of the scattering spectrum. Furthermore, specific combinations of helicity and angular momentum for the excitation lead to differences in the conservation of helicity by the system, which has clear consequences on the scattering pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2936–2944
Number of pages9
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018


  • angular momentum
  • backscattering
  • helicity
  • Mie theory
  • multipole
  • whispering gallery mode

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