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Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light–matter interaction

Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light–matter interaction
Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light–matter interaction
Controlling the way light interacts with material excitations is at the heart of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED). In the strong-coupling regime, quantum emitters in a microresonator absorb and spontaneously re-emit a photon many times before dissipation becomes effective, giving rise to mixed light-matter eigenmodes. Recent experiments in semiconductor microcavities reached a new limit of ultrastrong coupling, where photon exchange occurs on timescales comparable to the oscillation period of light. In this limit, ultrafast modulation of the coupling strength has been suggested to lead to unconventional QED phenomena. Although sophisticated light-matter coupling has been achieved in all three spatial dimensions, control in the fourth dimension, time, is little developed. Here we use a quantum-well waveguide structure to optically tune light-matter interaction from weak to ultrastrong and turn on maximum coupling within less than one cycle of light. In this regime, a class of extremely non-adiabatic phenomena becomes observable. In particular, we directly monitor how a coherent photon population converts to cavity polaritons during abrupt switching. This system forms a promising laboratory in which to study novel sub-cycle QED effects and represents an efficient room-temperature switching device operating at unprecedented speed.
0028-0836
178-181
Günter, G.
77275f2a-e5ba-457c-8531-6eb301a96975
Anappara, A.A.
b6f56192-48b8-4a51-819d-6f2c2d633523
Hees, J.
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Sell, A.
d30d76eb-4bab-468b-8629-ab6ca43c8159
Biasiol, G.
4de20bcc-6916-4123-86cb-99c6b1466c69
Sorba, L.
89c6de3d-7021-43b0-b870-cfca59a185e5
De Liberato, S.
5942e45f-3115-4027-8653-a82667ed8473
Ciuti, C.
c5ec42b0-4024-4dcf-b223-3f38b8626761
Tredicucci, A.
f1183cdb-ecde-4405-9622-41fd525db161
Leitenstorfer, A.
ce92feb9-3939-44f7-9d54-f45fd2ffcdec
Huber, R.
22e85c04-03d1-4557-8faa-703cb5a2b376
Günter, G.
77275f2a-e5ba-457c-8531-6eb301a96975
Anappara, A.A.
b6f56192-48b8-4a51-819d-6f2c2d633523
Hees, J.
1d628fd4-5835-47d9-944a-81926454124c
Sell, A.
d30d76eb-4bab-468b-8629-ab6ca43c8159
Biasiol, G.
4de20bcc-6916-4123-86cb-99c6b1466c69
Sorba, L.
89c6de3d-7021-43b0-b870-cfca59a185e5
De Liberato, S.
5942e45f-3115-4027-8653-a82667ed8473
Ciuti, C.
c5ec42b0-4024-4dcf-b223-3f38b8626761
Tredicucci, A.
f1183cdb-ecde-4405-9622-41fd525db161
Leitenstorfer, A.
ce92feb9-3939-44f7-9d54-f45fd2ffcdec
Huber, R.
22e85c04-03d1-4557-8faa-703cb5a2b376

Günter, G., Anappara, A.A., Hees, J., Sell, A., Biasiol, G., Sorba, L., De Liberato, S., Ciuti, C., Tredicucci, A., Leitenstorfer, A. and Huber, R. (2009) Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light–matter interaction. Nature, 458 (7235), 178-181. (doi:10.1038/nature07838).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Controlling the way light interacts with material excitations is at the heart of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED). In the strong-coupling regime, quantum emitters in a microresonator absorb and spontaneously re-emit a photon many times before dissipation becomes effective, giving rise to mixed light-matter eigenmodes. Recent experiments in semiconductor microcavities reached a new limit of ultrastrong coupling, where photon exchange occurs on timescales comparable to the oscillation period of light. In this limit, ultrafast modulation of the coupling strength has been suggested to lead to unconventional QED phenomena. Although sophisticated light-matter coupling has been achieved in all three spatial dimensions, control in the fourth dimension, time, is little developed. Here we use a quantum-well waveguide structure to optically tune light-matter interaction from weak to ultrastrong and turn on maximum coupling within less than one cycle of light. In this regime, a class of extremely non-adiabatic phenomena becomes observable. In particular, we directly monitor how a coherent photon population converts to cavity polaritons during abrupt switching. This system forms a promising laboratory in which to study novel sub-cycle QED effects and represents an efficient room-temperature switching device operating at unprecedented speed.

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More information

Published date: 12 March 2009
Organisations: Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 351229
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/351229
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 1151fe3f-a000-44d8-b183-b084ce79382d
ORCID for S. De Liberato: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4851-2633

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Date deposited: 17 Apr 2013 13:56
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:37

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Contributors

Author: G. Günter
Author: A.A. Anappara
Author: J. Hees
Author: A. Sell
Author: G. Biasiol
Author: L. Sorba
Author: S. De Liberato ORCID iD
Author: C. Ciuti
Author: A. Tredicucci
Author: A. Leitenstorfer
Author: R. Huber

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