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Guiding and confining of light in a two-dimensional synthetic space using electric fields

TitleGuiding and confining of light in a two-dimensional synthetic space using electric fields
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsH. Chalabi, S. Barik, S. Mittal, T. E. Murphy, M. Hafezi, and E. Waks
Date PublishedMAY 20
Type of ArticleArticle

Synthetic dimensions provide a promising platform for photonic quantum simulations. Manipulating the flow of photons in these dimensions requires an electric field. However, photons do not have charge and do not directly interact with electric fields. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed to realize electric fields in photonics. One approach is to use engineered gauge fields that can mimic the effect of electric fields and produce the same dynamical behavior. Here, we demonstrate such an electric field for photons propagating in a two-dimensional synthetic space. Generation of electric fields in a two-dimensional synthetic lattice provides the possibility to guide photons and to trap them through the creation of quantum confined structures. We achieve this using a linearly time-varying gauge field generated by direction-dependent phase modulations. We show that the generated electric field leads to Bloch oscillations and the revival of the state after a certain number of steps dependent on the field strength. We measure the probability of the revival and demonstrate a good agreement between the observed values and the theoretically predicted results. Furthermore, by applying a nonuniform electric field, we show the possibility of waveguiding photons. Ultimately, our results open up new opportunities for manipulating the propagation of photons with potential applications in photonic quantum simulations. (C) 2020 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement