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  • Received: May. 21, 2020

    Accepted: Jul. 14, 2020

    Posted: Sep. 15, 2020

    Published Online: Sep. 18, 2020

    The Author Email: Shiyao Fu (

    DOI: 10.3788/COL202018.110503

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    Heng Zhou, Chunqing Gao, Shiyao Fu, Yanwang Zhai, Jianqiang Zhang. Experimental demonstration of generating arbitrary total angular momentum states[J]. Chinese Optics Letters, 2020, 18(11): 110503

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Chinese Optics Letters, Vol. 18, Issue 11, 110503 (2020)

Experimental demonstration of generating arbitrary total angular momentum states

Heng Zhou1,2, Chunqing Gao1,2, Shiyao Fu1,2,*, Yanwang Zhai1,2, and Jianqiang Zhang1,2

Author Affiliations

  • 1School of Optics and Photonics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Photoelectronic Imaging Technology and System, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100081, China


We experimentally demonstrated an approach to generate arbitrary total angular momentum (TAM) states by using two liquid crystal devices. Photons’ TAM, the sum of spin and orbital angular momenta (SAM and OAM) under paraxial approximation, has found many applications in optics and attracted increasing attention in recent years. Our approach is based on the orthogonality of two eigen SAM components, that arbitrary TAM states will be produced through encoding different holograms in one system. The comparison with theoretical predications yields an excellent agreement, including both the separable state and the non-separable state. The proposed scheme takes a step forward for generating complex structured fields and broadens its application to various fields like laser processing and large capacity data transmission.


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