Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In recent years, the study of quantum electrodynamics (QED) in light-matter interactions has discovered various interesting phenomenons that orient many applications. However, due to the ambient entanglement among photons and atoms, few-particle dynamics remains challenging to analyze precisely and limits the progress in several fields. In few-particle systems, different number of atoms interacting with the light field generates drastically different results, even when there is only a single photon involved in the system. The interference between individual atom’s spontaneous emission wavefunctions can cooperatively alter the effective atom-light coupling strength. Depending on the spatial distance between individual of atoms and the involved cavities in the interaction progresses, the collective spontaneous emission rate can alter drastically from superradiance, where the emission rate is enhanced to a high value proportional to the atom number, to subradiance, where the excited atom ensemble stays in a dark state with the light trapped forever. Superradiance provides a promising mechanism to create an ultra-strong light-matter coupling environment, which is an important ingredient for the design of ultra-fast optical devices, frequency comb generation and quantum mirrors. The dark state of subradiance, on the other hand, is essential for the quantum memory implementation. Also, nontrivial phenomenons also occur when multiple photons interacting with a single atom simultaneously. When a finite number of photons incidents on an atom, their scattering through an atom is highly nonlinear, and one special eigenstate component of such nonlinear process, namely photonic bound states, exhibits many interesting properties in nonlinear quantum optical systems. The photons in such state are strongly bunched with each other, as if a virtual attractive force is in effect. Also, the frequency of photons are anti-correlated so that their total frequency remains a constant value, no matter how arbitrary the frequency of any individual is. Thesefeatures benefit certain nonlinear quantum processes for quantum computing and quantum imaging. Specially for two-photon excitation imaging, the same-parity two-level fluorophore molecules suffers from extremely low excitation efficiencies due to the far off-resonant intermediate states. However, by replacing the current commonly used ultrashort laser pulse illuminations with two photon bound state photon pairs, namely photonic dimers, the efficiency can be enhanced to orders of magnitude higher. Such exceptionally high excitation efficiency can potentially bring the current in vivo deep brain imaging depth from millimeter level to several centimeters. To obtain a stable source of such photonic dimers, it is found that a laser structure with gain medium of two-photon emission materials is capable of generating the coherent state of photonic dimer and can serve as a promising light source for nonlinear quantum optical devices.
Shantanu Chakrabartty, ShiNung Ching, Erik Henriksen, Chuan Wang,