Proc. SPIE. 10549, Complex Light and Optical Forces XII
KEYWORDS: Transmitters, Digital signal processing, Signal attenuation, Adaptive optics, Computer programming, Cryptography, Free space optics, Atmospheric turbulence, Data communications, Free space optical communications
There is interest in using spatial modes of light to increase the data speed of free-space optical communication where, each spatial mode can be used as a state or channel with which to encode or carry data, respectively. Here, the use of Hermite-Gaussian modes for free-space optical communication is investigated. It is shown that due their symmetry with respect to lateral displacement, as compared to other spatial modes, such as, orbital angular momentum modes, a subset of Hermite-Gaussian modes can experience less mode-crosstalk and -dependent loss when laterally displaced at the data receiver.
Youngs double slit experiment is one of the most celebrated achievements in quantum and classical optics; it provides experimental proof of the wave-particle duality of light. When the paths of the double slit are marked with orthogonal polarizations, the path information is revealed and no interference pattern is observed. However, the path information can be erased with a complimentary analysis of the polarization. Here we use hybrid entanglement between photons carrying orbital angular momentum and polarization to show that, just as in Young's experiment, the paths (OAM) marked with polarization do not lead to interference. However, when introducing the eraser (polarizer) which projects the polarization of one of the entangled photons onto a complementary polarization basis, the OAM (paths) are allowed to interfere, leading to the formation of azimuthal fringes whose frequency is proportional to the OAM content carried by the photon.
Combining the multiple degrees of freedom of photons has become topical in quantum communication and information
processes. This provides advantages such as increasing the amount of information that is be packed into
a photon or probing the wave-particle nature of light through path-polarisation entanglement. Here we present
two experiments that show the advantages of using hybrid entanglement between orbital angular moment (OAM)
and polarisation. Firstly, we present results where high dimensional quantum key distribution is demonstrated
with spatial modes that have non-separable polarisation-OAM DOF called vector modes. Secondly, we show
that through OAM-polarisation entanglement, the traditional which-way experiment can be performed without
using the traditional physical path interference approach.
High-dimensional encoding using higher degrees of freedom has become topical in quantum communication protocols. When taking advantage of entanglement correlations, the state space can be made even larger. Here, we exploit the entanglement between two dimensional space and polarization qubits, to realize a four-dimensional quantum key distribution protocol. This is achieved by using entangled states as a basis, analogous to the Bell basis, rather than typically encoding information on individual qubits. The encoding and decoding in the required complementary bases is achieved by manipulating the Pancharatnam-Berry phase with a single optical element: a q-plate. Our scheme shows a transmission fidelity of 0.98 and secret key rate of 0.9 bits per photon. While the use of only static elements is preferable, we show that the low secret key rate is a consequence of the filter based detection of the modes, rather than our choice of encoding modes.
Across various areas in the optical world, there has been a growing interest in exploiting the properties of non-separable optical fields. A class of non-separable fields, known as vector modes, exhibit a coupling between the spatial and polarisation degrees of freedom that is akin of entanglement in quantum mechanics. These vector modes, however, are typically characterized using qualitative measurements which are inadequate in determining to what extent an optical field is non-separable. Here, we present tools to characterize the degree of non-separability of an arbitrary optical field, exploiting the similarities between vector modes and quantum entangled states. As an example, we use vector modes carrying orbital angular momentum to demonstrate the effectiveness of our scheme, and note that the approach can be generalized to vector modes as a whole.
Traditional optical communication systems optimize multiplexing in polarization and wavelength both trans- mitted in fiber and free-space to attain high bandwidth data communication. Yet despite these technologies, we are expected to reach a bandwidth ceiling in the near future. Communications using orbital angular momentum (OAM) carrying modes offers infinite dimensional states, providing means to increase link capacity by multiplexing spatially overlapping modes in both the azimuthal and radial degrees of freedom. OAM modes are multiplexed and de-multiplexed by the use of spatial light modulators (SLM). Implementation of complex amplitude modulation is employed on laser beams phase and amplitude to generate Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) modes. Modal decomposition is employed to detect these modes due to their orthogonality as they propagate in space. We demonstrate data transfer by sending images as a proof-of concept in a lab-based scheme. We demonstrate the creation and detection of OAM modes in the mid-IR region as a precursor to a mid-IR free-space communication link.
Current optical communication technologies are predicted to face a bandwidth capacity limit in the near future. The nature of the limitation is fundamental rather than technological and is set by nonlinearities in optical fibers. One solution, suggested over 30 years ago, comprises the use of spatial modes of light as information carriers. Along this direction, light beams endowed with orbital angular momentum (OAM) have been demonstrated as potential information carriers in both, free space and fibres. However, recent studies suggest that purely OAM modes does not increase the bandwidth of optical communication systems. In fact, in all work to date, only the azimuthal component of transverse spatial modes has been used. Crucially, all transverse spatial modes require two degrees of freedom to be described; in the context of Laguerre-Gaussian (LGp`) beams these are azimuthal (l) and radial (p), the former responsible for OAM. Here, we demonstrate a technique where both degrees of freedom of LG modes are used as information carrier over free space. We transfer images encoded using 100 spatial modes in three wavelengths as our basis, and employ a spatial demultiplexing scheme that detects all 100 modes simultaneously. Our scheme is a hybrid of MIMO and SMM, and serves as a proof-of-principle demonstration. The cross-talk between the modes is small and independent of whether OAM modes are used or not.
Vector beams are spatial modes of light with spatially variant polarization states in the transverse profile. Over the years, vector beams have found their way into plenty of applications ranging from material processing and lithography to electron acceleration and particle trapping. Though qualitative measurements are routinely used to analyse vector beams, there is currently no quantitative measure for vector beam purity. Here, we introduce a new measure, the vector quality factor (VQF), that maps the purity of vector beams to a scale ranging from 0 to 1. We demonstrate a simple optical setup to generate and detect vector beams using a birefringent phase plate known as a q-plate. Tomographic measurements are performed by decomposing the vector beam into its circular basis states, and measuring the expectation values of the Pauli matrices as intensity measurements which, are used to evaluate the VQF of vector beams.
We experimentally demonstrate an information encoding protocol using the two degrees of freedom of Laguerre Gaussian modes having different radial and azimuthal components. A novel method, based on digital holography, for information encoding and decoding using different data transmission scenarios is presented. The effects of the atmospheric turbulence introduced in free space communication is discussed as well.