The orbital angular momentum of photons in noncollinear spontaneous parametric downconversion

Juan P. Torres*, Clara I. Osorio, Gabriel Molina-Terriza, Lluis Torner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We elucidate the paraxial orbital angular momentum of entangled photon pairs generated by spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) in different non-collinear geometries. To date, most investigations addressed SPDC in nearly collinear phase-matching geometries, where the pump, the signal and idler photons propagate coaxially almost along the same direction. However, non-collinear geometries introduce a variety of new features. The OAM of the entangled photons strongly depend on the propagation direction of the photons. Here we show that locally paraxial measurements of the OAM conducted with entangled photons generated in non collinear geometries, they do not comply with the known selection rules for the spiral index of the pump, signal and idler mode functions (Mair et al., Nature 412, 313 (2001)). In particular, we find the orbital angular momentum of entangled pairs generated in purely transverse-emitting configurations, where the entangled photons counter-propagate perpendicularly to the direction of propagation of the pump beam. In transverse emitting configurations, the spatial shape of the down converted in one transverse dimensions strongly depends on the corresponding spatial shape of the input pump beam, while in the other transverse dimension, the shape is tailored by the longitudinal phase matching. The spatial walk-off of all interacting waves in the parametric process also determines the OAM content of the down-converted photons, and here its influence is also revealed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Pages (from-to)138-149
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Entanglement
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Orbital angular momentum
  • Parametric processes
  • Quantum optics


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