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  1. Applications that use the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light show promise for increasing the bandwidth of optical communication networks. However, direct photocurrent detection of different OAM modes has not yet been demonstrated. Most studies of current responses to electromagnetic fields have focused on optical intensity–related effects, but phase information has been lost. In this study, we designed a photodetector based on tungsten ditelluride (WTe 2 ) with carefully fabricated electrode geometries to facilitate direct characterization of the topological charge of OAM of light. This orbital photogalvanic effect, driven by the helical phase gradient, is distinguished by a current winding around the optical beam axis with a magnitude proportional to its quantized OAM mode number. Our study provides a route to develop on-chip detection of optical OAM modes, which can enable the development of next-generation photonic circuits.
  2. The orbital angular momentum (OAM) intrinsically carried by vortex light beams holds a promise for multidimensional high-capacity data multiplexing, meeting the ever-increasing demands for information. Development of a dynamically tunable OAM light source is a critical step in the realization of OAM modulation and multiplexing. By harnessing the properties of total momentum conservation, spin-orbit interaction, and optical non-Hermitian symmetry breaking, we demonstrate an OAM-tunable vortex microlaser, providing chiral light states of variable topological charges at a single telecommunication wavelength. The scheme of the non–Hermitian-controlled chiral light emission at room temperature can be further scaled up for simultaneous multivortex emissions in a flexible manner. Our work provides a route for the development of the next generation of multidimensional OAM-spin-wavelength division multiplexing technology.
  3. Ultralow-threshold coherent light emitters can be achieved through lasing from exciton-polariton condensates, but this generally requires sophisticated device structures and cryogenic temperatures. Polaritonic nanolasers operating at room temperature lie on the crucial path of related research, not only for the exploration of polariton physics at the nanoscale but also for potential applications in quantum information systems, all-optical logic gates, and ultralow-threshold lasers. However, at present, progress toward room temperature polariton nanolasers has been limited by the thermal instability of excitons and the inherently low quality factors of nanocavities. Here, we demonstrate room temperature polaritonic nanolasers by designing wide-gap semiconductor heterostructure nanocavities to produce thermally stable excitons coupled with nanocavity photons. The resulting mixed states of exciton polaritons with Rabi frequencies of approximately 370 meV enable persistent polariton lasing up to room temperature, facilitating the realization of miniaturized and integrated polariton systems.
  4. Topological photonics in strongly coupled light-matter systems offer the possibility for fabricating tunable optical devices that are robust against disorder and defects. Topological polaritons, i.e., hybrid exciton-photon quasiparticles, have been proposed to demonstrate scatter-free chiral propagation, but their experimental realization to date has been at deep cryogenic temperatures and under strong magnetic fields. We demonstrate helical topological polaritons up to 200 kelvin without external magnetic field in monolayer WS2excitons coupled to a nontrivial photonic crystal protected by pseudo time-reversal symmetry. The helical nature of the topological polaritons, where polaritons with opposite helicities are transported to opposite directions, is verified. Topological helical polaritons provide a platform for developing robust and tunable polaritonic spintronic devices for classical and quantum information-processing applications.