Researchers from the U.S have presented a micro laser system that is possible to dynamically tune to numerous distinct OAM modes. They confirm that the OAM modes of fiber lasers are measured by a chip-based detector. Therefore, two laser technologies have been combined in this research resulting in the first tunable, chip-based vortex fiber laser system.
These vortex laser systems are called so because of the way their light spirals around their axis of travel. Despite the laser technology is not new, it had some limits to transmitting a single, pre-set OAM mode resulting in inefficient in encoding more information. Additionally, current detectors use complex filtering methods applying bulky components that make them impossible from being integrated directly onto a chip, thus, they are considered to be incompatible with most practical optical communications approaches.
Since fiber lasers and detectors now become more accurate, they both allow consistently emitting and distinguishing between various amplitude levels leading to more data to be included in the same signal. It should be noted that more sophisticated laser systems and detectors enable changing other qualities of laser beam light, for instance, its wavelength that corresponds to a color, and its polarization, which is regarded as the orientation of the wave’s oscillations relative to its direction of travel.
The research on a dynamically tunable fiber laser system based on this technique is presented by the researchers from Pennsylvania. According to the research, the first step was a work with a “microring” laser system that includes a ring of semiconductor, only a few microns wide, through which laser beam light circulate indefinitely as long as power is supplied. Moreover, “asymmetry between the two control arms allows for the SAM of the resulting fiber laser to be coupled with OAM in a particular direction.”
To be more precise, instead of simply rotating around the axis of the laser beam, the wavefront of such a fiber laser system orbits that axis and therefore travels in a helical pattern. OAM mode of the laser system follows its chirality, the direction those helices twist, and how close together its twists are. Herewith, the new fiber laser technology has been already tested and demonstrated the ability to emit five distinct OAM modes leading to expanding the information channel of such fiber lasers by up to five times.
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