Photonic Spin Hall Effect at Metasurfaces

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The spin Hall effect (SHE) of light is very weak because of the extremely small photon momentum and spin-orbit interaction. Here, we report a strong photonic SHE resulting in a measured large splitting of polarized light at metasurfaces. The rapidly varying phase discontinuities along a metasurface, breaking the axial symmetry of the system, enable the direct observation of large transverse motion of circularly polarized light, even at normal incidence. The strong spin-orbit interaction deviates the polarized light from the trajectory prescribed by the ordinary Fermat principle. Such a strong and broadband photonic SHE may provide a route for exploiting the spin and orbit angular momentum of light for information processing and communication.

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