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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 21 — Oct. 12, 2009
  • pp: 18745–18759

Polarization control of single photon quantum orbital angular momentum states

E. Nagali, F. Sciarrino, F. De Martini, B. Piccirillo, E. Karimi, L. Marrucci, and E. Santamato  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 21, pp. 18745-18759 (2009)

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The orbital angular momentum of photons, being defined in an infinite-dimensional discrete Hilbert space, offers a promising resource for high-dimensional quantum information protocols in quantum optics. The biggest obstacle to its wider use is presently represented by the limited set of tools available for its control and manipulation. Here, we introduce and test experimentally a series of simple optical schemes for the coherent transfer of quantum information from the polarization to the orbital angular momentum of single photons and vice versa. All our schemes exploit a newly developed optical device, the so-called “q-plate”, which enables the manipulation of the photon orbital angular momentum driven by the polarization degree of freedom. By stacking several q-plates in a suitable sequence, one can also have access to higher-order angular momentum subspaces. In particular, we demonstrate the control of the orbital angular momentum m degree of freedom within the subspaces of |m|=2ħ and |m|=4ħ per photon.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(270.0270) Quantum optics : Quantum optics
(270.5585) Quantum optics : Quantum information and processing

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

Original Manuscript: July 2, 2009
Revised Manuscript: September 2, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 7, 2009
Published: October 2, 2009

E. Nagali, F. Sciarrino, F. De Martini, B. Piccirillo, E. Karimi, L. Marrucci, and E. Santamato, "Polarization control of single photon quantum orbital angular momentum states," Opt. Express 17, 18745-18759 (2009)

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