RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

Nonreciprocal Quantum Optical Devices Based on Chiral Interaction of Confined Light with Spin-Polarized Atoms

December 4, 2017 - 11:00am
Arno Rauschenbeutel
Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology

The confinement of light in nanophotonic structures results in an inherent link between the light’s local polarization and its propagation direction [1]. Remarkably, this leads to chiral, i.e., propagation-direction-dependent effects in the emission and absorption of light by quantum emitters [2]. For example, when coupling atoms to an evanescent field, the emission rates into counter-propagating optical modes can become asymmetric [3]. In our group, we became aware of this chiral light–emitter coupling when studying the interaction of single rubidium atoms with the evanescent part of a light field that is confined by continuous total internal reflection in a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) microresonator [4]. In the following, we employed this effect to demonstrate an integrated optical isolator [5] as well as an integrated optical circulator [6] which operate at the single-photon level and which exhibit low loss. The latter are the first two examples of a new class of nonreciprocal nanophotonic devices which exploit the chiral interaction of quantum emitters with transversally confined photons.

[1] K. Y. Bliokh et al. Nat. Photon. 9, 796 (2015)

[2] P. Lodahl et al. Nature 541, 473 (2017)

[3] R. Mitsch et al. Nature Commun. 5, 5713 (2014)

[4] C. Junge et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 213604 (2013)

[5] C. Sayrin et al. Phys. Rev. X 5, 041036 (2015)

[6] M. Scheucher et al. Science 354, 1577 (2016)

Atlantic 2400
College Park, MD 20742