Abstract

A polarization-independent orbital angular momentum (OAM) generator, based on a chiral fiber grating (CFG), is proposed and demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. Helical phases were successfully excited in this device for the arbitrary polarization states of the input light, and the resulting OAM modes could be produced with a desired polarization state. The employed CFG was fabricated by twisting a fused few-mode fiber during hydrogen-oxygen flame heating. The polarization characteristics, helical phase, and purity of the coupled modes in the CFG were experimentally investigated for varying input light polarization states. The results showed that the coupled higher-order modes had the same polarization as the input fundamental mode. The chirality of the excited OAM was polarization-independent and determined solely by the helicity of the CFG. The purity of the OAM mode was higher than 93% with a slight fluctuation of 2% which occurred during measurement processing.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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