On-chip noninterference angular momentum multiplexing of broadband light

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Science  07 Apr 2016:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1112

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Angular momentum division has emerged as a physically-orthogonal multiplexing method in high-capacity optical information technologies. However, the typical bulky elements used for information retrieval from the overall diffracted field based on the interference method imposes a fundamental limit toward realizing on-chip multiplexing. We demonstrate non-interference angular momentum multiplexing using a mode-sorting nano-ring aperture with a chip-scale footprint as small as 4.2 × 4.2 μm2, where nano-ring slits exhibit a distinctive outcoupling efficiency on tightly-confined plasmonic modes. The non-resonant mode-sorting sensitivity and scalability of our approach enable on-chip parallel multiplexing over a bandwidth of 150 nm in the visible wavelength range. The results offer the possibility of ultrahigh-capacity and miniaturized nanophotonic devices harnessing angular momentum division.

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