This image shows a vortex laser on a chip. Because the laser
beam travels in a corkscrew pattern, encoding information into
different vortex twists, it’s able to carry 10 times or more
the amount of information than that of conventional lasers.
A UB-led research team is pushing laser technology forward using
a light manipulation technique called orbital angular momentum,
which distributes the laser in a corkscrew pattern with a vortex at
The team was able to shrink the vortex laser, usually too large
to work on today’s computers, to the point where it is
compatible with computer chips. Because the laser beam travels in a
corkscrew pattern, encoding information into different vortex
twists, it’s able to carry 10 times or more the amount of
information than that of conventional lasers, which move
The vortex laser is one component of many, such as advanced
transmitters and receivers, that ultimately will be needed to
continue building more powerful computers and datacenters.
The study was published by the journal Science. Authors
are assistant professor Liang Feng and professor Natalia M.
Litchinitser (co-leads), PhD candidates Pei Miao and Zhifeng Zhang,
assistant research professor Jingbo Sun, and postdoctoral
researcher Wiktor Walasik, all from the Department of Electrical
Engineering; and Stefano Longhi, professor at the Polytechnic
University of Milan in Italy.
The research was supported with grants from the U.S. Army
Research Office, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National