We have experimentally studied the degradation of mode purity for light beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) propagating through simulated atmospheric turbulence. The turbulence is modeled as a randomly varying phase aberration, which obeys statistics postulated by Kolmogorov turbulence theory. We introduce this simulated turbulence through the use of a phase-only spatial light modulator. Once the turbulence is introduced, the degradation in mode quality results in crosstalk between OAM modes. We study this crosstalk in OAM for 11 modes, showing that turbulence uniformly degrades the purity of all the modes within this range, irrespective of mode number.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics
Original Manuscript: May 31, 2012
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: July 24, 2012
Published: August 31, 2012
Brandon Rodenburg, Martin P. J. Lavery, Mehul Malik, Malcolm N. O’Sullivan, Mohammad Mirhosseini, David J. Robertson, Miles Padgett, and Robert W. Boyd, "Influence of atmospheric turbulence on states of light carrying orbital angular momentum," Opt. Lett. 37, 3735-3737 (2012)