High-capacity millimetre-wave communications with orbital angular momentum multiplexing

Yan Yan*, Guodong Xie, Martin P.J. Lavery, Hao Huang, Nisar Ahmed, Changjing Bao, Yongxiong Ren, Yinwen Cao, Long Li, Zhe Zhao, Andreas F. Molisch, Moshe Tur, Miles J. Padgett, Alan E. Willner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One property of electromagnetic waves that has been recently explored is the ability to multiplex multiple beams, such that each beam has a unique helical phase front. The amount of phase front 'twisting' indicates the orbital angular momentum state number, and beams with different orbital angular momentum are orthogonal. Such orbital angular momentum based multiplexing can potentially increase the system capacity and spectral efficiency of millimetre-wave wireless communication links with a single aperture pair by transmitting multiple coaxial data streams. Here we demonstrate a 32-Gbit s-1 millimetre-wave link over 2.5 metres with a spectral efficiency of B16 bit s-1 Hz-1 using four independent orbital-angular momentum beams on each of two polarizations. All eight orbital angular momentum channels are recovered with bit-error rates below 3.8×10-3. In addition, we demonstrate a millimetre-wave orbital angular momentum mode demultiplexer to demultiplex four orbital angular momentum channels with crosstalk less than -12.5 dB and show an 8-Gbit s-1 link containing two orbital angular momentum beams on each of two polarizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4876
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2014


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