Vortex lenses produce special wavefronts with zero-axial intensity, and helical phase structure. The variations of the phase and amplitude of the vortex produce a circular flow of energy that allows transmitting orbital angular momentum. This property is especially in optical trapping, because due to the orbital angular momentum of light, they have the ability to set the trapped particles into rotation. Vortex lenses engraved in diffractive optical elements have been proposed in the last few years. These lenses can be described mathematically as a two-dimensional (2D) function, which expressed in polar coordinates are the product of two different separable one-dimensional (1D) functions: One, depends only on the square of radial coordinate, and the other one depends linearly on the azimuthal coordinate and includes the topological charge. The 1D function that depends on the radial coordinate is known as a zone plate. Here, vortex lenses, constructed using different aperiodic zone plates, are reviewed. Their optical properties are studied numerically by computing the intensity distribution along the optical axis and the transverse diffraction patterns along the propagation direction. It is shown that these elements are able to create a chain of optical traps with a tunable separation, strength and transverse section.
Part of the book: Vortex Dynamics and Optical Vortices