Quantum information transfer from spin to orbital angular momentum of photons

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Jul 3;103(1):013601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.013601. Epub 2009 Jun 29.


The optical "spin-orbit" coupling occurring in a suitably patterned nonuniform birefringent plate known as a "q plate" allows entangling the polarization of a single photon with its orbital angular momentum (OAM). This process, in turn, can be exploited for building a bidirectional "spin-OAM interface," capable of transposing the quantum information from the spin to the OAM degree of freedom of photons and vice versa. Here, we experimentally demonstrate this process by single-photon quantum tomographic analysis. Moreover, we show that two-photon quantum correlations such as those resulting from coalescence interference can be successfully transferred into the OAM degree of freedom.