On-demand tailored vector beams
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© 2017 Optical Society of America.We introduce an effective optical system to produce optical beams with arbitrary, inhomogeneous polarization states. Using our system, we are capable of generating vector beams with discretionarily chosen transverse complex fields in a straightforward way. We generate several different instances of well-known vector beams and the less common spirally polarized vector beams, as well as a full Poincaré beam. We visually show the continual transition between azimuthally and radially polarized beams via a collection of spirally polarized beams. We experimentally determine the polarization states of the generated beams and quantitatively assess the performance of our system. We find that the measured polarization distributions accurately coincide with the intended input polarization distributions.