Néel-type optical target skyrmions inherited from evanescent electromagnetic fields with rotational symmetry

Bo Tian, Jingyao Jiang, Zebo Zheng, Ximiao Wang, Shaojing Liu, Wuchao Huang, Tian Jiang, Huanjun Chen and Shaozhi Deng

Nanoscale 15, 13224 (2023)
Optical skyrmions have recently attracted growing interest due to their potential applications in deep-subwavelength imaging and nanometrology. While optical skyrmions have been successfully demonstrated using different field vectors, the study of their generation and control, as well as their general correlation with electromagnetic (EM) fields, is still in its infancy. Here, we theoretically propose that evanescent transverse-magnetic-polarized (TM-polarized) EM fields with rotational symmetry are actually Néel-type optical target skyrmions of the electric field vectors. Such optical target skyrmions are independent of the operation frequency and medium. Our proposal was verified by numerical simulations and real-space nano-imaging experiments performed on a graphene monolayer, where the target skyrmions could be as small as ∼100 nm in diameter. The results can therefore not only further our understanding of the formation mechanisms of EM topological textures, but also provide guidelines for the facile construction of EM skyrmions that may impact future information technologies.