Single-Pulse Measurement of Orbital Angular Momentum Generated by Microring Lasers
- Journal Article
Optical beams with helical phase fronts carry orbital angular momentum (OAM). To exploit this property in integrated photonics, micrometer-scale devices that generate beams with well-defined OAM are needed. Consequently, lasers based on microring resonators decorated with azimuthal grating elements have been investigated. However, future development of such devices requires better methods to determine their OAM, as current approaches are challenging to implement and interpret. If a simple and more sensitive technique were available, OAM microring lasers could be better understood and further improved. In particular, despite most devices being pulsed, their OAM output has been assumed to be constant. OAM fluctuations, which are detrimental for applications, need to be quantified. Here, we fabricate quantum-dot microring lasers and demonstrate a simple measurement method that can straightforwardly determine the magnitude and sign of the OAM down to the level of individual laser pulses. We exploit a Fourier microscope with a cylindrical lens and then investigate three types of microring lasers: with circular symmetry, with “blazed” grating elements, and with unidirectional rotational modes. Our results confirm that previous measurement techniques obscured key details about the OAM generation. For example, while time-averaged OAM from our unidirectional laser is very similar to our blazed grating device, single-pulse measurements show that detrimental effects of mode competition are almost entirely suppressed in the former. Nevertheless, even in this case, the OAM output exhibits shot-to-shot fluctuations. Thus, our approach reveals important details in the underlying device operation that can aid in the improvement of micrometer-scale sources with pure OAM output. Show more
Journal / seriesACS Nano
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Subjectorbital angular momentum; microlaser; ring laser; mode competition; cylindrical lens; single-pulse measurement; Fourier microscopy
Organisational unit03875 - Norris, David J. / Norris, David J.
339905 - Quantum-Dot Plasmonics and Spasers (EC)
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