Creating high-harmonic beams with controlled orbital angular momentum. Academic Article uri icon


  • A beam with an angular-dependant phase Φ= ℓ ϕ about the beam axis carries an orbital angular momentum of ℓ ℏ per photon. Such beams are exploited to provide superresolution in microscopy. Creating extreme ultraviolet or soft-x-ray beams with controllable orbital angular momentum is a critical step towards extending superresolution to much higher spatial resolution. We show that orbital angular momentum is conserved during high- harmonic generation. Experimentally, we use a fundamental beam with| ℓ|= 1 and interferometrically determine that the harmonics each have orbital angular momentum equal to their harmonic number. Theoretically, we show how any small value of orbital angular momentum can be coupled to any harmonic in a controlled manner. Our results open a route to microscopy on the molecular, or even submolecular, scale.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014