Tailoring accelerating beams in phase space

Yuanhui Wen, Yujie Chen, Yanfeng Zhang, Hui Chen, Siyuan Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)


An appropriate wave-front design will enable light fields that propagate along arbitrary trajectories, thus forming accelerating beams in free space. Previous strategies for designing such accelerating beams rely mainly on caustic methods, which start from diffraction integrals and deal only with two-dimensional fields. Here we introduce an alternate perspective to construct accelerating beams in phase space by designing the corresponding Wigner distribution function (WDF). We find that such a WDF-based method is capable of providing both the initial field distribution and the angular spectrum in need by projecting the WDF into the real space and the Fourier space, respectively. Moreover, this approach applies to the construction of both two- and three-dimensional fields, greatly generalizing previous caustic methods. It may therefore open a new route for construction of highly tailored accelerating beams and facilitate applications ranging from particle manipulation and trapping to optical routing as well as material processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023825
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
Early online date14 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


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