Mixing the Light Spin with Plasmon Orbit by Nonlinear Light-Matter Interaction in Gold

G. Spektor, D. Kilbane, A. K. Mahro, M. Hartelt, E. Prinz, M. Aeschlimann, M. Orenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Transformation of light carrying spin angular momentum (SAM) to optical field vortices carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) has been of wide interest in recent years. The interactions between two optical fields, each carrying one of those degrees of freedom, and furthermore, the transfer of the resulting angular momentum product to matter are seldom discussed. Here, we measure the interaction between 3D light carrying axial SAM and 2D plasmon-polariton vortices carrying high-order transverse OAM. The interaction is mediated by two-photon absorption within a gold surface, imprinting the resulting angular-momentum mixing into matter by excitation of electrons that are photo-emitted into vacuum. Interestingly, the spatial distribution of the emitted electrons carries the signature of a subtraction of the spin from the orbit angular momenta. We show experimentally and theoretically that the absorptive nature of this interaction leads to both single and double photon-plasmon angular momentum mixing processes by one- and two- photon interactions. Our results demonstrate high order angular momenta light-matter interactions, provide a glimpse into specific electronic excitation routes, and may be applied in future electronic sources and coherent control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021031
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Mixing the Light Spin with Plasmon Orbit by Nonlinear Light-Matter Interaction in Gold'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this