Teng, Houan; Qian, Yixian; Lan, Yanping & Cui, Wentao


“We demonstrate a universal approach for generating high-order diffraction catastrophe beams, specifically for Swallowtail-type beams (abbreviated as Swallowtail beams), using diffraction catastrophe theory that was defined by potential functions depending on the control and state parameters. The three-dimensional curved caustic surfaces of these Swallowtail catastrophe beams are derived by the potential functions. Such beams are generated by mapping the cross sections of the high-order control parameter space to the corresponding transverse plane. Owing to the flexibility of the high-order diffraction catastrophe, these Swallowtail beams can be tuned to a diverse range of optical light structures. Owing to the similarity in their frequency spectra, we found that the Swallowtail beams change into low-order Pearcey beams under given conditions during propagation. Our experimental results are in close agreement with our simulated results. Such fantastic catastrophe beams that can propagate along curved trajectories are likely to give rise to new applications in micromachining and optical manipulation, furthermore, these diverse caustic beams will pave the way for the tailoring of arbitrarily accelerating caustic beams.”

Link to Publications Page

Publication: Optics Express
Issue/Year: Optics Express, Volume 29; Number 3; Pages 3786; 2021
DOI: 10.1364/oe.416134