Twisted photons: New classical and quantum applications

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twisted light, or light with orbital angular momentum (OAM), plays an emerging role in both classical and quantum science, with important applications in areas as diverse as biophotonics, micromachines, spintronics, or quantum information. It offers fascinating opportunities for exploring new fundamental ideas in physics, as well as for being used as a tool for practical applications. One important point is to determine how to generate single photons, and two-photon states, with an appropriate OAM content. Here we describe the paraxial orbital angular momentum of entangled photon pairs generated by spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) in different non-collinear geometries. These geometries introduce a variety of new features, In particular, we find the OAM 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. 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 number59581O
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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

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