Nano and Quantum Optics

Graphene SolitonNano Optics is the research domain devoted to the study of electromagnetic field propagation, confinement and interaction with matter at a sub-wavelength scale. Recent advances in fabrication and characterization techniques permit nowadays the study of optical phenomena at the nanoscale. Quantum optics is a related field of research, merging the areas of quantum field theory and optics, dealing with phenomena involving light and its interaction with matter at the quantum level. The field has evolved considerably from its early studies of coherence properties of radiation and parametric processes of light to recent topics of investigation such as quantum information, manipulation of single atoms, Bose-Einstein condensation, etc. The progress of quantum optics implies, from the scientific point of view, a deeper understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics. From the applications side, it is expected to have a strong social and economic impact thanks to the build up of a revolutionary technology based on quantum phenomena.

Some of our main activities in this line of research are related to the emerging field is Plasmonics, which is the study of optical phenomena associated with the electromagnetic response of metals. The interface between a metal and a dielectric presents surface plasmons (surface electron density oscillations), which originate electromagnetic fields confined near the metal-dielectric interface, leading to exotic optical properties, like negative refraction. Researchers at IFIMAC have played a key role in the study of the phenomenon of extraordinary optical transmission through subwavelength apertures. Also within Plasmonics, we have made important contributions in the field of plasmon-assisted transport in atomic-scale junctions and the propagation of electromagnetic waves in magneto-plasmonic nanostructures.

Another very active subject in IFIMAC is the analysis of non-conservative optical forces on small particles. From the study of basic fundamental aspects to different applications to the manipulation of nanoparticles by optical tweezers and also pushing and pulling nanoparticles by radiation pressure or light-induced modification of the Brownian motion of particles in suspension. Light-matter interaction in two-dimensional systems, such as graphene and graphene-based heterostructures, graphene relatives, transition metal dichalcogenides and their combination in vertical stacks are also investigated at IFIMAC.

On the other hand, theorists at IFIMAC have produced seminal contributions to the understanding of light emission and absorption spectra in low-dimensional semiconductor structures. We have worked in the quantum optics produced by interacting bosonic complexes describing cavity polaritons and contributed with pioneering works on the superfluidity and coherence properties of polariton gases both under resonant and non-resonant pumping. IFIMAC also has a strong activity in the field of ultracold atomic gases.

Experimental groups at IFIMAC have a long experience on optical spectroscopy of semiconductor low-dimensional systems. Currently we are working on quantum optics based on semiconductor quantum dots. Using photon correlation techniques, we have studied the properties of single photon emitters based on quantum dots of semiconductor systems both isolated and coupled to optical microcavities. By using time-resolved spectroscopy, we have presented the first experimental evidence on spin relaxation in doped quantum wells. We have also discovered exciton interactions strongly dependent on spin. In the last years IFIMAC researchers have focused on the study of quantum microcavities based on semiconductor nanostructures and on the preparation of Bose-Einstein condensates in solid-state systems.

Key References

  1. Emitters of N-photon bundles
    C. Sánchez Muñoz, E. del Valle, A. González Tudela, K. Müller, S. Lichtmannecker, M. Kaniber, C. Tejedor, J.J. Finley and F.P. Laussy
    Nature Photonics (2014). [URL]
  2. A sense of direction
    J. Bravo-Abad and F.J. García-Vidal
    Nature Nanotechnology 8, 479-480 (2013). [URL]
  3. Bichromatic dressing of a quantum dot detected by a remote second quantum dot
    M. Maragkou, C. Sánchez-Muñoz, S. Lazic, E. Chernysheva, H. P. van der Meulen, A. González-Tudela, C. Tejedor, L. J. Martínez, I. Prieto, P. A. Postigo and J. M. Calleja
    Phys. Rev. B 88, 075309 (2013). [URL]
  4. Graphene supports the propagation of subwavelength optical solitons
    M.L. Nesterov, J. Bravo-Abad, A. Yu. Nikitin, F.J. Garcia-Vidal, and L. Martin-Moreno,
    Laser and Photonics Reviews 7, L7-L11 (2013). [URL]
  5. Theory of Strong Coupling between quantum emitters and propagating surface plasmons
    A. González-Tudela, P.A. Huidobro, L. Martín-Moreno, C. Tejedor and F.J. García-Vidal
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 126801 (2013). [URL]
  6. Thermalization and cooling of plasmon-exciton polaritons: towards quantum condensation
    S.R.K. Rodríguez, J. Feist, M.A. Verschuuren, F.J. García-Vidal and J. Gómez-Rivas
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 166802 (2013). [URL]
  7. Frictionless flow in a binary polariton superfluid
    E. Cancellieri, F. M. Marchetti, M. Szymanska, D. Sanvitto and C. Tejedor
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 065301 (2012). [URL]
  8. Density instabilities in a two-dimensional dipolar Fermi gas
    M.M. Parish and F.M. Marchetti
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 145304 (2012). [URL]
  9. Theory of frequency-filtered and time-resolved N-photon correlations
    E. del Valle, A. Gonzalez-Tudela, F. P. Laussy, C. Tejedor and M. J. Hartmann
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 183601 (2012). [URL]
  10. Controlling the properties of single photon emitters via the Purcell effect
    M. Maragkou, A. K. Nowak, E. Gallardo, H.P. van der Meulen, I. Prieto, P. A. Postigo and J. M. Calleja
    Phys. Rev. B 86, 085316 (2012). [URL]
  11. Dynamics of a polariton condensate transistor switch
    C. Antón, T. C. H. Liew, G. Tosi, M.D. Martín, T. Gao, Z. Hatzopoulos, P. S. Eldridge, P. G. Savvidis and L. Viña
    Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 261116 (2012) . [URL]
  12. Localized Spoof Plasmons arise while texturing closed surfaces
    A. Pors, E. Moreno, L. Martín-Moreno, J.B. Pendry, and F.J. García-Vidal
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 223905 (2012). [URL]
  13. Entanglement of two-qubits mediated by one-dimensional plasmonic waveguides
    A. Gonzalez-Tudela, D. Martin-Cano, E. Moreno, L. Martin-Moreno, C. Tejedor and F.J. Garcia-Vidal
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 020501 (2011). [URL]
  14. Light passing through subwavelength apertures
    F.J. García-Vidal, L. Martín-Moreno, T.W. Ebbesen, and L. Kuipers,
    Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 729-787 (2010). [URL]
  15. Optical rectification and field enhancement in a plasmonic nanogap
    D. R.Ward, F. Hüser, F. Pauly, J. C. Cuevas, and D. Natelson
    Nature Nanotech. 5, 732 (2010). [URL]
  16. Effect of pure dephasing on the Jaynes-Cummings nonlinearities
    A. Gonzalez-Tudela, E. del Valle, E. Cancellieri, C. Tejedor, D. Sanvitto and F.P. Laussy
    Optics Exp. 18, 7002 (2010). [URL]
  17. Persistent currents and quantised vortices in a polariton superfluid
    D. Sanvitto, F. M. Marchetti, M. H. Szymanska, G. Tosi, M. Baudisch, F. P. Laussy, D. N. Krizhanovskii, M. S. Skolnick, L. Marrucci, A. Lemaitre, J. Bloch, C. Tejedor and L. Viña,
    Nature Phys. 6, 527 (2010). [URL]
  18. Spontaneous and triggered vortices in polariton OPO superfluids
    F.M. Marchetti, M.H. Szymanska, C. Tejedor, D.M. Whittaker
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 063902 (2010). [URL]
  19. Collective fluid dynamics of a polariton condensate in a semiconductor microcavity
    A. Amo, D. Sanvitto, D. Ballarini, F.P. Laussy, E. del Valle, M.D. Martin, A. Lemaitre, J. Bloch, D.N. Krizhanovskii, M.S. Skolnick, C. Tejedor and L. Viña
    Nature 457, 291 (2009). [URL]
  20. Strong coupling of quantum dots in microcavities
    F. P. Laussy, E. del Valle, and C. Tejedor
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 083601 (2008). [URL]
  21. Dynamical polarization of graphene at finite doping
    B. Wunsch, T. Stauber, F. Sols, and F. Guinea
    New J. Physics 8, 318 (2006). [URL]