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Trans-spectral orbital angular momentum transfer via four-wave mixing in Rb vapor

Walker, G. and Arnold, A. S. and Franke-Arnold, S. (2012) Trans-spectral orbital angular momentum transfer via four-wave mixing in Rb vapor. Physical Review Letters, 108 (24). ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract

We report the transfer of phase structure and, in particular, of orbital angular momentum from near-infrared pump light to blue light generated in a four-wave-mixing process in Rb-85 vapor. The intensity and phase profile of the two pump lasers at 780 and 776 nm, shaped by a spatial light modulator, influences the phase and intensity profile of light at 420 nm, which is generated in a subsequent coherent cascade. In particular, we observe that the phase profile associated with orbital angular momentum is transferred entirely from the pump light to the blue. Pumping with more complicated light profiles results in the excitation of spatial modes in the blue that depend strongly on phase matching, thus demonstrating the parametric nature of the mode transfer. These results have implications on the inscription and storage of phase information in atomic gases.