Diffractive optics for combined spatial- and mode- division demultiplexing of optical vortices: design, fabrication and optical characterization
During the last decade, the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light has attracted growing interest as a new degree of freedom for signal channel multiplexing in order to increase the information transmission capacity in today’s optical networks. Here we present the design, fabrication and characterization of phase-only diffractive optical elements (DOE) performing mode-division (de)multiplexing (MDM) and spatial-division (de)multiplexing (SDM) at the same time. Samples have been fabricated with high-resolution electron-beam lithography patterning a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) resist layer spun over a glass substrate. Different DOE designs are presented for the sorting of optical vortices differing in either OAM content or beam size in the optical regime, with different steering geometries in far-field. These novel DOE designs appear promising for telecom applications both in free-space and in multi-core fibers propagation.