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Nonlinear Optics with Rydberg Excitons

October 10, 2018 - 2:00pm
Valentin Walther
Aarhus University
Abstract: The realization of exciton polaritons -- hybrid excitations of semiconductor quantum well excitons and cavity photons -- has been of great technological and scientific significance. In particular, the short-range collisional interaction between excitons has enabled explorations into a wealth of nonequilibrium and hydrodynamical effects that arise in weakly nonlinear polariton condensates. Yet, the ability to enhance optical nonlinearities would enable quantum photonics applications and open up a new realm of photonic many-body physics in a scalable and engineerable solid-state environment. 
In this talk, I will review recent experimental and theoretical progress on the creation and the features of excitonic Rydberg states [1,2]. Specifically, I will outline a route to giant optical nonlinearities in cavity-coupled semiconductors by exploiting the giant interactions between Rydberg excitons. We demonstrate that these optical nonlinearities can be vastly enhanced by several orders of magnitude and induce nonlinear processes at the level of single photons [3].
[1] T. Kazimierczuk et al., Nature 514, 343 (2014)
[2] A. Chernikov et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 076802 (2014)
[3] V. Walther, J. Rohne & T. Pohl, Nat. Comm. 9, 1309 (2018)
PSC 2136