Mode division multiplexing (MDM)– using a multimode optical fiber’s N spatial modes as data channels to transmit N independent data streams – has received interest as it can potentially increase optical fiber data transmission capacity N-times with respect to single mode optical fibers. Two challenges of MDM are (1) designing mode (de)multiplexers with high mode selectivity (2) designing mode (de)multiplexers without cascaded beam splitting’s 1/N insertion loss. One spatial mode basis that has received interest is that of orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes. In this paper, using a device referred to as an OAM mode sorter, we show that OAM modes can be (de)multiplexed over a multimode optical fiber with higher than −15 dB mode selectivity and without cascaded beam splitting’s 1/N insertion loss. As a proof of concept, the OAM modes of the LP11 mode group (OAM−1,0 and OAM+1,0), each carrying 20-Gbit/s polarization division multiplexed and quadrature phase shift keyed data streams, are transmitted 5km over a graded-index, few-mode optical fibre. Channel crosstalk is mitigated using 4 × 4 multiple-input-multiple-output digital-signal-processing with <1.5 dB power penalties at a bit-error-rate of 2 × 10−3.
Huang, H., Milione, G., Lavery, M. P., Xie, G., Ren, Y., Cao, Y. . . . Willner, A. E. (2015). Mode division multiplexing using an orbital angular momentum mode sorter and MIMO-DSP over a graded-index few-mode optical fibre. Scientific Reports, 5, 14931. doi:10.1038/srep14931.