Generation and manipulation of laser beams carrying orbital angular momentum for classical and quantum information applications
Karimi, Ebrahim (2009) Generation and manipulation of laser beams carrying orbital angular momentum for classical and quantum information applications. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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Light orbital angular momentum (OAM) has been recognized as a new promising resource for classical and quantum information applications. In contrast to the spin angular momentum, the OAM is an inherently multidimensional. Thus, the information can be encoded in the higher-dimensional OAM alphabets. Recently, Marrucci et al. have invented a new device named q-plate (QP), made of liquid crystal cell patterned in such a way to introduce a topological charge q at the transverse plane, which is able to generate a well-defined values of photon OAM. My research has been aimed at investigating the physics of the QP, of the optical fields that it generates and of its possible applications for optical communication and quantum information. We studied both theoretically and experimentally a novel set of non-orthogonal but over-complete paraxial modes, named Hypergeometric-Gaussian modes, that is typically associated with OAM-carrying optical fields. We have also found the light propagation kernel inside the QP and we have shown analytically that if small losses due to reflection, absorption, and scattering are neglected, the QP can convert the photon spin into OAM with up to 100 \% efficiency. We implemented a technique to control the QP optical retardation by tuning the QP temperature. At the optimal temperature, the QP can generate a beam with up to 97\% efficiency. Moreover, the OAM state generated by QP can be rotated easily in the 2D OAM Hilbert space by proper manipulation of the input polarization state, a fact which opens a new way of beam shape controlling in MHz scale. We also performed a novel way to encode and read two bits information on the 4D OAM space by using only one QP. Finally, we experimentally demonstrated the transfer of quantum information from spin to OAM and vice versa, including the case of bi-photon states having quantum correlations. Furthermore, by exploiting these quantum information transfer devices, we demonstrated the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect and the optimal quantum cloning with OAM-carrying photons.
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