Determining the twist of structured light

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Science  24 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 1016-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6366.1016-c

Light can encode information in several different ways, through parameters such as wavelength, polarization, pulse width, and amplitude. Light can also be prepared with optical angular momentum, whereby the propagating light is structured with a twist or spiral-like structure. However, a receiver typically finds it difficult to determine the twist of arbitrary or multimode structured light beams. D'Errico et al. introduce a simplified technique for disentangling complex twisted light beams. On the basis of inspection of an interference pattern created with a reference beam, they show that they can decompose complex structured light beams into the component optical angular momentum modes. The technique may present a practical route for incorporating twisted lights as an additional dimension for enhancing the capacity of communication channels.

Optica 4, 1350 (2017).

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