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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 4202

  Friday, September 30th, 2016

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Engineering light-matter interactions with atom-like systems
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jennifer Choy, Draper Laboratory
Abstract: Techniques that utilize photons to probe and manipulate discrete electronic energy levels in atoms have enabled numerous metrology applications, including precise and stable inertial sensors, time and frequency standards, magnetometers, and test-beds of quantum information protocols. Despite the promise of this technology, the electro-optics and vacuum requirements associated with atomic instruments pose a considerable challenge to their implementation outside of the laboratory. This field can greatly benefit from integration with a photonics platform that provides robust and efficient control of photon-atom interactions.
Wide-bandgap semiconductors are candidate material systems for such a photonics platform. Recent advancements in material processing and nanofabrication have made it possible to develop micro- and nano-photonic devices in these “nonstandard” materials. In some cases, crystalline defects can lead to optically active color centers that can be isolated as single quantum systems (“artificial atoms”), with optical and spin properties that are viable for quantum information and quantum sensing.
In this talk, I will provide examples of engineering light-matter interactions with these artificial atoms, focusing on the nitrogen-vacancy center in single-crystal diamond. I will review several devices that enhance color-center emission, including nanowires and gratings that improve excitation and collection efficiencies, as well as resonators that modify spontaneous emission rates. I will summarize the major applications that have been enabled by diamond-based photonic devices. Finally, I will conclude with an overview of other potential photonic platforms (e.g. silicon carbide, titanium dioxide, silicon nitride, III-V materials, and hybrid approaches), and a comparison between photonics with solid-state artificial atoms and real atomic systems.
Host: McDermott
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