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Efficient separation of the orbital angular momentum eigenstates of light

Mirhosseini, Mohammad and Malik, Mehul and Shi, Zhimin and Boyd, Robert W. (2013) Efficient separation of the orbital angular momentum eigenstates of light. Nature Communications, 4 . Art. No. 2781. ISSN 2041-1723. doi:10.1038/ncomms3781.

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Orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light is an attractive degree of freedom for fundamental studies in quantum mechanics. In addition, the discrete unbounded state-space of OAM has been used to enhance classical and quantum communications. Unambiguous measurement of OAM is a key part of all such experiments. However, state-of-the-art methods for separating single photons carrying a large number of different OAM values are limited to a theoretical separation efficiency of about 77%. Here we demonstrate a method which uses a series of unitary optical transformations to enable the measurement of light's OAM with an experimental separation efficiency of >92%. Furthermore, we demonstrate the separation of modes in the angular position basis, which is mutually unbiased with respect to the OAM basis. The high degree of certainty achieved by our method makes it particularly attractive for enhancing the information capacity of multi-level quantum cryptography systems.

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Boyd, Robert W.0000-0002-1234-2265
Additional Information:© 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 12 July 2013. Accepted 16 October 2013. Published 12 November 2013. The authors would like to thank M. O’Sullivan, B. Rodenburg, M. Lavery, Dr E. Karimi, Dr M. Padgett and Dr D. Gauthier for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the DARPA InPho Program. In addition, M. Malik acknowledges funding from the European Commission through a Marie Curie Fellowship, and RWB acknowledges support from the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program. Author Contributions: M. Mirhosseini designed the experiment. M. Mirhosseini, M. Malik and Z.S. performed the experiment and analysed data. R.W.B. supervised the project. M. Mirhosseini wrote the manuscript with contributions from all authors. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Canada Research Chairs ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190628-110703341
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Official Citation:Mirhosseini, M. et al. Efficient separation of the orbital angular momentum eigenstates of light. Nat. Commun. 4:2781 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3781 (2013).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96825
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Jul 2019 21:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:23

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