Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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(de)multiplexerintegrated optical systemsmultipolar optical beamsOptical communication systemspatial division multiplexing


The invention presents an innovative optical communication system based on space-division multiplexing to increase the transmission capacity of the existing free-space and fiber-optic communication network by encoding channels with the same frequency on a new variety of optical beams characterized by a multipole phase structure.

Technical features

This is an optical communication system based on spatially divided multiplexing: it includes devices to generate optical beams (multiplexer), at the transmitter level, and to separate them at the receiver level (demultiplexer). The optical demultiplator is configured to receive at the input a superposition of optical beams carrying multipolar phases with different phase structures and orientations, and generate from them at the output a constellation of distinct intensity peaks, while the optical multiplier is configured to receive at the input distinct standard beams and generate from them a superposition of collimated beams at the output carrying multipolar phases with different phase structures and orientations. The innovative element is the implementation of beams carrying a multipolar phase and the associated system of conformal optical transformations to generate and detect such families of beams. A demonstration of operation with commercial components and fabrication of metalents was carried out. TRL 3

Possible Applications

  • Telecommunications and free space transmission;
  • Electron microscopy and measurement of optical aberrations;
  • Short-distance communication along multimodal fibers and quantum communications and high-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD);


• Optical communication system with beams free of phase singularities or critical points;
• Much more versatile, efficient, and scalable method for encoding and transmitting channels and receiving them than other space-division multiplexing techniques
• Multiplexing and demultiplexing require optical architectures with fewer optical elements than other beam families, e.g., OAM modes;
• Multipolar beams offer more degrees of freedom and thus can provide more usable transmission channels.