Spiral Transformation for High-Resolution and Efficient Sorting of Optical Vortex Modes

Yuanhui Wen, Ioannis Chremmos, Yujie Chen*, Jiangbo Zhu, Yanfeng Zhang, Siyuan Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)
558 Downloads (Pure)


Mode sorting is an essential function for optical multiplexing systems that exploit the orthogonality of the orbital angular momentum mode space. The familiar log-polar optical transformation provides a simple yet efficient approach whose resolution is, however, restricted by a considerable overlap between adjacent modes resulting from the limited excursion of the phase along a complete circle around the optical vortex axis. We propose and experimentally verify a new optical transformation that maps spirals (instead of concentric circles) to parallel lines. As the phase excursion along a spiral in the wave front of an optical vortex is theoretically unlimited, this new optical transformation can separate orbital angular momentum modes with superior resolution while maintaining unity efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193904
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number19
Early online date11 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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