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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 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
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Nanophotonics
Issue number1
Early online date18 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2020


  • Azopolymers
  • Chiral structured materials
  • Laser materials processing
  • Optical vortices
  • Orbital angular momentum
  • Singular optics
  • Spin angular momentum


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