Twisted mass transport enabled by the angular momentum of light

Takashige Omatsu, Keigo Masuda, Katsuhiko Miyamoto, Kohei Toyoda, Natalia M. Litchinitser, Yoshihiko Arita, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Light may carry both orbital angular momentum (AM) and spin AM. The former is a consequence of its helical wavefront, and the latter is a result of its rotating transverse electric field. Intriguingly, the light-matter interaction with such fields shows that the orbital AM of light causes a physical "twist" in a range of materials, including metal, silicon, azopolymer, and even liquid-phase resin. This process may be aided by the light's spin AM, resulting in the formation of various helical structures. The exchange between the AM of light and matter offers not only unique helical structures at the nanoscale but also entirely novel fundamental phenomena with regard to the light-matter interaction. This will lead to the future development of advanced photonics devices, including metamaterials for highly sensitive detectors as well as reactions for chiral chemical composites. Here, we focus on interactions between the AM of light and azopolymers, which exhibit some of the most diverse structures and phenomena observed. These studies result in helical surface relief structures in azopolymers and will leverage next-generation applications with light fields carrying optical AM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number010901
JournalJournal of Nanophotonics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge support in the form of KAKENHI Grants-in-Aid (Grant Nos. JP 16H06507, JP 17K19070, and JP 18H03884) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) CREST Grant No. (JPMJCR1903), and the U.S. National Science Foundation Award #1809518. KD and YA thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for funding (through Grant No. EP/P030017/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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