Polarization control of single photon quantum orbital angular momentum states
PICCIRILLO, BRUNO and KARIMI, EBRAHIM and MARRUCCI, LORENZO and SANTAMATO, ENRICO (2009) Polarization control of single photon quantum orbital angular momentum states. [Pubblicazione su rivista scientifica]
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The orbital angular momentum of photons, being defined in an infinite-dimensional discrete Hilbert space, offers a promising resource for high-dimensional quantum information protocols in quantum optics. The biggest obstacle to its wider use is presently represented by the limited set of tools available for its control and manipulation. Here, we introduce and test experimentally a series of simple optical schemes for the coherent transfer of quantum information from the polarization to the orbital angular momentum of single photons and vice versa. All our schemes exploit a newly developed optical device, the so-called “q-plate”, which enables the manipulation of the photon orbital angular momentum driven by the polarization degree of freedom. By stacking several q-plates in a suitable sequence, one can also have access to higher-order angular momentum subspaces. In particular, we demonstrate the control of the orbital angular momentum m degree of freedom within the subspaces of |m| = 2¯h and |m| = 4¯h per photon.
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