Generation of Millimetre-Wavelength Orbital Angular Momentum

  • Peter Schemmel

Student thesis: Phd


Studying the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light has become rather fashion- able in the 21st century. Yet, most of major advances in OAM related research have been conducted in the visible regime of light. A significant portion OAM research revolves around using OAM radiation to perform some function that is deemed useful. Examples of this are optical trapping, micro-machine manipulation and the development of advanced communication systems. Photon entanglement measurements also make use of OAM radiation. Interest in probing radiation for naturally generated OAM is far less popular. For example, interest in building OAM sensitive telescopes was sparse at the beginning of this thesis, however the first reported detection of astrophysical OAM was published in 2013. This thesis aims to tackle these two areas of sparse research by developing the components and understanding in order to build OAM sensitive millimetre-wavelength telescopes. Spiral phase plates (SPPs) are the device of choice. The majority of the thesis sets out to test three different SPPs, in order to compare and contrast different methods for their manufacture and design. Electromagnetic theory of OAM and its generation is reviewed first. Then, each SPP is modelled numerically fol- lowed by in-depth modelling of each plate by using the computational electromagnetic package FEKO. Finally, each plate is measured with a three dimensional field scanner developed as part of this thesis. Development of a new modular SPP design concludes this thesis.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • Orbital Angular Momentum
  • Millimetre Wavelength
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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