Jornet Publishes Paper in the Journal ‘Science’ on Tunable Topological Charge Vortex Microlaser

Josep Jornet

ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet published a collaborative paper in the prestigious journal Science, titled: “Tunable Topological Charge Vortex Microlaser.”

With COVID-19, our society has effectively transitioned to online living, and is currently relying on the Internet more than ever for education, working, shopping and entertainment. As a result, the volume of information that the Internet needs to carry has drastically increased (even when some content providers have reduced the quality of their video streaming services to prevent congestion). To be able to keep up with the user needs and enable new forms of online interaction (such as holographic conferencing or virtual/enhanced reality for tele-working), ways to be able to transmit more information over existing infrastructure are needed.

In this direction, in collaboration with groups at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University, Jornet and the research team has theoretically designed and experimentally demonstrated the first on-chip tunable laser for orbital angular momentum (OAM) modulation and multiplexing. In OAM modulation, light emitted by a laser travels in a helical pattern around its axis (think of the stairs in the ISEC building). A laser’s OAM “mode” corresponds to its chirality, the direction those helices twist, and how close together its twists are. Different OAM modes are orthogonal, which means that they can coexist without interfering with each other. This idea is at the basis of OAM multiplexing. OAM multiplexing can be implemented in current network infrastructure, requiring only an upgrade on the transmitter and the receiver. Moreover, beyond optical fiber communications (at the core of the Internet), optical wireless communications can benefit from this technique.

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Related Faculty: Josep M Jornet