Wavelength-tunable vortex fiber lasers that could generate beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) hold great attention in large-capacity optical communications. The wavelength tunability of conventional vortex fiber lasers is, however, limited by a range of ∼35 nm due to narrow bandwidth and/or insertion loss of mode conversion components. Optical metasurfaces apart from being compact planar components can flexibly manipulate light with high efficiency in a broad wavelength range. Here, we propose and demonstrate for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a metasurface-assisted vortex fiber laser that can directly generate OAM beams with customizable topological charges. Due to the designed broadband gap-surface plasmon metasurface, combined with an intracavity tunable filter, the laser enables an OAM beam with a center wavelength continuously tunable from 1015 to 1075 nm, nearly twice of other vortex fiber lasers ever reported. The metasurface can be designed at will to satisfy requirements for either low pump threshold or high slope efficiency of the laser. Furthermore, the cavity-metasurface configuration can be extended to generate higher-order OAM beams or more complex structured beams in different wavelength regions, which greatly broadens the possibilities for developing low-cost and high-quality structured-beam laser sources.
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© 2023 American Chemical Society.
- light manipulation
- orbital angular momentum (OAM)
- plasmon metasurface
- vortex fiber laser
- wavelength tunable