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Organic Molecules Coming of Age in Quantum Optics

September 18, 2019 - 1:30pm
Vahid Sandoghdar
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

Abstract: The interaction of light and matter at the nanometer scale lies at the heart of quantum optics because it concerns elementary processes such as absorption or emission of a photon by an atom. Over the past decade, we have shown that direct coupling of a photon to a single two-level atom should be possible via tight focusing [1]. However, because transitions in quantum emitters are typically not closed, laboratory demonstrations of this idea fall short of the theoretical prediction. I shall report on recent achievements, where the branching ratio of a single organic molecule is improved by a substantial Purcell effect when coupled to a microcavity [2-4]. Furthermore, we will discuss coherent linear and nonlinear experiments [5] on molecules coupled to subwavelength waveguides [6]. Indeed, many interesting proposals in quantum optics and light-matter interaction rely on having multiple quantum emitters well-coupled to a single mode of light [7]. We show that one-dimensional photonic channels including microresonator elements on a chip are ideal for coupling several identical emitters [8]. Together with their ability to generate narrowband stream of single photons, these developments make organic molecules viable candidates for integration in chip-based quantum optical circuits. 

[1] G. Wrigge, I. Gerhardt, J. Hwang, G. Zumofen and V. Sandoghdar, “Efficient coupling of photons to a single molecule and the observation of its resonance fluorescence”, Nature Phys. 4, 60-66 (2008).

[2] H. Kelkar, D. Wang, D. Martin-Cano, B. Hoffmann, S. Christiansen, S. Götzinger and V. Sandoghdar, “Sensing nanoparticles with a cantilever-based scannable optical cavity of low finesse and sub-λ3 volume”, Phys. Rev. Appl. 4, 054010 (2015).

[3] D. Wang, H. Kelkar, D. Martin-Cano, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger and V. Sandoghdar, “Coherent coupling of a single molecule to a scanning Fabry-Perot microcavity”, Phys. Rev. X 7, 021014 (2017).

[4] D. Wang, H. Kelkar, D. Martin-Cano, D. Rattenbacher, A. Shkarin, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger and V. Sandoghdar, “Turning a molecule into a coherent two-level quantum system, Nature Physics 15, 483 (2019).

[5] A. Maser, B. Gmeiner, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger and V. Sandoghdar, “Few-photon coherent nonlinear optics with a single molecule”, Nature Photon. 10, 450-453 (2016).

[6] P. Türschmann, N. Rottenberg, J. Renger, I. Harder, O. Lohse, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger, and V. Sandoghdar, “Chip-Based All-Optical Control of Single Molecules Coherently Coupled to a Nanoguide,” Nano Lett. 17, 4941-4945 (2017).

[7] H. Haakh, S. Faez, and V. Sandoghdar, “Polaritonic normal-mode splitting and light localization in a one-dimensional nanoguide,” Phys. Rev. A 94, 053840 (2016).

[8] D. Rattenbacher, A. Shkarin, J. Renger, T. Utikal, S. Götzinger, V. Sandoghdar, “Coherent coupling of single molecules to on-chip microresonatorse,” New J. Phys. 21, 062002 (2019).

Host: Glenn Solomon

PSC 2136
College Park, MD 20742