Abstract

The efficient creation and detection of spatial modes of light has become topical of late, driven by the need to increase photon bit-rates in classical and quantum communications. Such mode creation/detection is traditionally achieved with tools based on linear optics. Here we put forward a new spatial mode detection technique based on the nonlinear optical process of sum-frequency generation. We outline the concept theoretically and demonstrate it experimentally with intense laser beams carrying orbital angular momentum and Hermite–Gaussian modes. Finally, we show that the method can be used to transfer an image from the infrared band to the visible, which implies the efficient conversion of many spatial modes.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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