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26 September 2013 Expanded horizons for generating and exploring optical angular momentum in vortex structures
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Spin provides for a well-known extension to the information capacity of nanometer-scale electronic devices. Spin transfer can be effected with high fidelity between quantum dots, this type of emission being primarily associated with emission dipoles. However, in seeking to extend the more common spectroscopic connection of dipole transitions with orbital angular momentum, it has been shown impossible to securely transmit information on any other multipolar basis – partly because point detectors are confined to polarization measurement. Standard polarization methods in optics provide for only two independent degrees of freedom, such as the circular states of opposing handedness associated with photon spin. Complex light beams with structured wave-fronts or vector polarization do, however, offer a basis for additional degrees of freedom, enabling individual photons to convey far more information content. A familiar example is afforded by Laguerre-Gaussian modes, whose helically twisted wave-front and vortex fields are associated with orbital angular momentum. Each individual photon in such a beam has been shown to carry the entire spatial helical-mode information, supporting an experimental basis for sorting beams of different angular momentum content. One very recent development is a scheme for such optical vortices to be directly generated through electronic relaxation processes in structured molecular chromophore arrays.
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David L. Andrews, Matt M. Coles, Mathew D. Williams, and David S. Bradshaw "Expanded horizons for generating and exploring optical angular momentum in vortex structures", Proc. SPIE 8813, Spintronics VI, 88130Y (26 September 2013);

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