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The spontaneous emergence of vector vortex beams with nonuniform polarization distribution is reported in a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) with frequency-selective feedback. Antivortices with a hyperbolic polarization structure and radially polarized vortices are demonstrated. They exist close to and partially coexist with vortices with uniform and nonuniform polarization distributions characterized by four domains of pairwise orthogonal polarization. The spontaneous formation of these nontrivial structures in a simple, nearly isotropic VCSEL system is remarkable and the vector vortices are argued to have solitonlike properties.
- vector vortex beams
- vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser
- solitonlike properties