OAM + SAM -New paper from my lab

We have a new paper from our lab to appear in the journal : Laser & Photonics Reviews

on “Simultaneous detection of spin and orbital angular momentum of light through scattering from a single silver nanowire”

preprint version on arxiv : https://arxiv.org/abs/2111.14919

Light can carry orbital angular momentum (OAM) and spin angular momentum (SAM). This momentum can be transferred to an object that is interacting with the light. What we show is the experimental proof of concomitant detection of OAM and SAM in the coherent light scattering signatures from a single, silver nanowire. Essentially, the nanowire acts like a slit, and scatters the light. During this scattering process, the distribution of light in momentum space gets altered according to the spin (polarization) and orbital (topological charge) state illuminating the nanowire.

A notable point is that unlike other (metamaterials) methods, this unambiguous detection scheme does not require sophisticated nanofabrication methods and is mainly founded on fundamental principles of vectorial light scattering in the momentum space.

This experimental work (with a good dose of theoretical optics) was mainly due to the sustained efforts of an outstanding PhD student in my lab : Diptabrata Paul (about to finish PhD !)

He had excellent support and inputs from our PhD alumni Deepak K Sharma (now a postdoc/research scientist at ASTAR, Singapore).

Going further, this study motivates some interesting questions, of which we are interested in exploring the direct transfer of OAM and SAM at sub-wavelength scale to nanoscale objects including (macro)molecules. This will have some interesting manifestation on optical forces and torques at sub-wavelength scale, and we intend to study them in detail. This can be studied in a unique set-up that we have built in our lab that combines nano-optical tweezers with momentum-space imaging microscope. Look out for some studies in this direction from our lab.

We will spend a lot time…in momentum space 🙂

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