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Arbitrary spin-to-orbital angular momentum conversion of light

Optical elements that convert the spin angular momentum (SAM) of light into vortex beams have found applications in classical and quantum optics. These elements, SAM to orbital angular momentum (OAM) converters, are based on the geometric phase and only permit the conversion of left- and right-circular polarizations (spin states) into states with opposite OAM. We present a method for converting arbitrary SAM states into total angular momentum states characterized by a superposition of independent OAM. We design a metasurface that converts left- and right-circular polarizations into states with independent values of OAM, and another device that performs this operation for elliptically polarized states. These results illustrate a general material-mediated connection between SAM and OAM of light and may find applications in producing complex structured light and in optical communication.

Posted in AI & Robotics.