The full structuration of light in the transverse plane, including intensity, phase and polarization, holds the promise of unprecedented capabilities for applications in classical optics as well as in quantum optics and information sciences. Harnessing special topologies can lead to enhanced focusing, data multiplexing or advanced sensing and metrology. Here we experimentally demonstrate the storage of such spatio-polarization-patterned beams into an optical memory. A set of vectorial vortex modes is generated via liquid crystal cell with topological charge in the optic axis distribution, and preservation of the phase and polarization singularities is demonstrated after retrieval, at the single-photon level. The realized multiple-degree-of-freedom memory can find applications in classical data processing but also in quantum network scenarios where structured states have been shown to provide promising attributes, such as rotational invariance.
V. Parigi, V. D’Ambrosio, C. Arnold, L. Marrucci, F. Sciarrino & J. Laurat, Storage and retrieval of vector beams of light in a multiple-degree-of-freedom quantum memory, Nature Communications 6, 7706 (2015).