Abstract

The unique ring-shaped intensity patterns and helical phase fronts of optical vortices make them useful in many applications. Here we report for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, efficient Raman frequency conversion between vortex modes in a twisted hydrogen-filled single-ring hollow core photonic crystal fiber (SR-PCF). High-fidelity transmission of optical vortices in an untwisted SR-PCF becomes more and more difficult as the orbital angular momentum (OAM) order increases, due to scattering at structural imperfections in the fiber microstructure. In a helically twisted SR-PCF, however, the degeneracy between left- and right-handed versions of the same mode is lifted, with the result that they are topologically protected from such scattering. With launch efficiencies of ${\sim}{75}\% $, a high damage threshold and broadband guidance, these fibers are ideal for performing nonlinear experiments that require the polarization state and azimuthal order of the interacting modes to be preserved over long distances. Vortex coherence waves of internal molecular motion carrying angular momentum are excited in the gas, permitting the polarization and OAM of the Raman bands to be tailored, even in spectral regions where conventional solid-core waveguides are opaque or susceptible to optical damage.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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