Fast electrical switching of orbital angular momentum modes using ultra-compact integrated vortex emitters

Strain, Michael J. and Cai, Xinlun and Wang, Jianwei and Zhu, Jiangbo and Phillips, David B. and Chen, Lifeng and Lopez-Garcia, Martin and O'Brien, Jeremy L. and Thompson, Mark G. and Sorel, Marc and Yu, Siyuan (2014) Fast electrical switching of orbital angular momentum modes using ultra-compact integrated vortex emitters. Nature Communications, 5. 4856. ISSN 2041-1723

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    Abstract

    The ability to rapidly switch between orbital angular momentum modes of light has important implications for future classical and quantum systems. In general, orbital angular momentum beams are generated using free-space bulk optical components where the fastest reconfiguration of such systems is around a millisecond using spatial light modulators. In this work, an extremely compact optical vortex emitter is demonstrated with the ability to actively tune between different orbital angular momentum modes. The emitter is tuned using a single electrically contacted thermo-optical control, maintaining device simplicity and micron scale footprint. On-off keying and orbital angular momentum mode switching are achieved at rates of 10 μs and 20 μs respectively.