Harnessing the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light is an appealing approach to developing photonic technologies for future applications in optical communications and high-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. An outstanding challenge to the widespread uptake of the OAM resource is its efficient generation. In this work we design a new device that can directly emit an OAM-carrying light beam from a low-cost semiconductor laser. By fabricating micro-scale spiral phase plates within the aperture of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), the linearly polarized Gaussian beam emitted by the VCSEL is converted into a beam carrying specific OAM modes and their superposition states, with high efficiency and high beam quality. This new approach to OAM generation may be particularly useful in the field of OAM-based optical and quantum communications, especially for short-reach data interconnects and QKD.
- Optical vortices
- Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
- Integrated optics devices;
- Laser beam shaping
- Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering - Professor of Photonic Information Systems
- The Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information
Person: Academic , Member