A Scalable Cavity Architecture for Quantum Optoelectronics in the Strong-Coupling Regime Project Summary As technology reaches the nano-scales, we rapidly approach the classical limits. Control of the quantum world stands out as a grand scientific challenge. In this realm, spectacular progress has been made on diverse, individual quantum systems. Integration and coherent coupling of multiple quantum systems in a scalable fashion, however, remains extremely challenging. In this program, we propose a collaborative efforts to tackle this challenge using a new cavity system with strong matter-light couplings. The proposed system utilizes a versatile, designable photonic-crystal mirror to control the properties of hybrid photon-exciton modes, the polaritons, in the strong-coupling regime. It builds on the recent advancement of both photonic crystal research in the engineering community and the quantum coherence research of polariton in the physics community. The hybrid cavity architecture will enable flexible control of polaritons and coupling of multiple polariton quantum systems on the same chip and thereby lay the foundation for future technologies based on collective quantum coherence, such as ultrafast and energy efficent lasers and switches, quantum circuits and interometers, and quantum simulators. Accomplishing the goal requires a concerted effort of computer-aided design and modeling of the new cavity architecture, nanofabrication of the devices, and laser and quantum optical spectroscopy of the fabricated device. These tasks will be carried out through collaboration of a US and a German team: The US team, led by the PI at the University of Michigan, specializes in experimental quantum optics, coherence spectroscopy, matter-light interaction, and design and modeling of cavity systems. The US team will lead the efforts of design, modeling, and optical measurements of the new cavity system. Students will visit the German site and will be trained by the German team on nano-fabrication of the photonic crystal mirrors. The German team is led by Dr. Alfred Forchel and Dr. Martin Kamp at the Physikalisches Institut at the Universität Würzburg. The German team is a world leader in semiconductor materials and devices with expertise in molecular-beam epitaxy growth and nanofabrication of III-As microcavities. The German team will perform MBE growth of the structures, and will provide facilities, training, and technical support in nano-fabrication of the photonic crystals. Members of the team will visit Michigan to participate in optical measurements. Intellectual Merit The program will develop a scalable cavity architecture for controlling collective quantum coherence of semiconductor polaritons. Polaritons are a special quantum system with robust coherence, high operating tempeartures, and a built-in matter light interface. However, control of polaritons is severely limited at present by rigid cavity structure. We will develop in this program a new cavity architecture for polaritons that uniquely allows flexible confinement, control, and coupling of individual and multiple polariton systems, while preserving the desired quantum coherence and nonlinear interactions. The new system will enable research of coupled quantum gasses on a scalable solid-state platform, and will bridge quantum phenomena and advanced optoelectronic technolgy ranging from ultrafast and energy efficent lasers and switches to circuits and simulators for quantum computing. Broader Impacts The program provides US graduate students the opportunity to be trained by the world?s leading experts on nano-science, and to work in an international, multi-culture environment. The German students will benefit similarly. These will provide invaluable experience and training for the students and prepare them as future leaders in the international science and engineering community. The shared knowledge and expertise will broadly benefit the quantum science and nanotechnology communities in both countries. The program also provides opportunities to engage undergraduate students in cutting edge research and mentoring women and minorities interested in science. Scientific advancement through the research program will be disseminated to a broad audience via international summer schools, conferences, and education and outreach activities at K-12 schools.

Project Report

As technology reaches the nano-scales, we rapidly approach the classical limits. Control of the quantum world stands out as a grand scientific challenge. In this realm, spectacular progress has been made on diverse, individual quantum systems. Integration and coherent coupling of multiple quantum systems in a scalable fashion, however, remains extremely challenging. In this project, we tackle this challenge by developing a scalable cavity architecture for controlling collective quantum coherence of semiconductor polaritons, via a collaborative efforts between the PI’s team and a German team. Intellectual Merit Polaritons are a special quantum system with robust coherence, high operating tempeartures, and a built-in matter light interface. The robustness of a macroscopic quantum phase and the convenience of an optical interface make the polariton system one of the most promising candidate future technologies based on quantum mechnical properties. However, control of polaritons is severely limited at present by rigid cavity structure. We developed in this project a new cavity architecture for polaritons that uniquely allows flexible confinement, control, and coupling of individual and multiple polariton systems, while preserving the desired quantum coherence and nonlinear interactions. Collaboratively, we developed the nanofabrication techniques to integrate a designable slab photonic-crystal mirror into a high-quality microcavity. Accompanying numerical toolbox for designing the cavity was also developed. Measurements were performed to characterize the fabricated device. Through the concerted effort of computer-aided design and modeling of the new cavity architecture, nanofabrication of the devices, and laser and quantum optical spectroscopy of the fabricated device, we demonstrated that this new type of cavity can operate in the regime with strong matter-light couplings. Furthermore, the system supported the formation of a coherent quantum phase of the coupled mode. This new system will enable research of coupled quantum gasses on a scalable solid-state platform, and will bridge quantum phenomena and advanced optoelectronic technolgy ranging from ultrafast and energy efficent lasers and switches, quantum circuits and interometers, and quantum simulators. Broader Impacts A new international ollaboration between the PI’s team and the German team was established as a result of the project. It facilitates the international exchange of the state-of-the-art scentific and technological knowledge on nanofabrication and semiconductor device technology. The shared knowledge and expertise will broadly benefit the quantum science and nanotechnology communities in both countries. The project provided a US graduate students the opportunity to be trained by the world’s leading experts on nano-science, and to work in an international, multi-culture environment. These will provide invaluable experience and training for the students and prepare them as future leaders in the international science and engineering community. The project also provided opportunities to engage women undergraduate students in cutting edge research. Scientific advancement through the research program was disseminated to a broad audience via international conferences and publication in academic journals.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1132725
Program Officer
Alexandra Stepanian
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-08-01
Budget End
2013-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$56,984
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Ann Arbor
State
MI
Country
United States
Zip Code
48109