Friday, 16 November 2018

Light dressed with electrons: physics and prospect applications of polaritons

D. Sanvitto, CNR NANOTEC

Polaritons are among the most striking quasi-particles in semiconductors that can undergo phase transition to a Bose Einstein condensate even at room temperature. The physics of these objects has shown several impressive achievements, from superfluidity , low threshold lasing, solitons, black holes analogs , polariton backjets  and many others. In particular we have recently demonstrated that exploiting the strong nonlinearities provided by the excitonic component of the polariton quasiparticles it is possible to build a full logic based on all-optical polartion transistor-gates. Taking advantage of Bloch surface wave modes we can also show that nonlinearities and even superfluidity of propagating polaritons can be observed at room temperature by coupling such modes to organic molecular dyes.
A shift of paradigm would be the exploitation of polariton interactions to allow nonlinear control of single photon states for quantum computation purposes. One of our recent results is the demonstration of single polariton entangled to a single photon that can keep the quantum state even in the nonlinear regime. However we can also prospect the generation of single polariton state via the polariton blockade effect. In this respect plasmonic rather than optical modes can be particularly awarding for their very small modal volumes.
All these results pave the way for the development and implementation of a new logic, quantum and classical, made with interacting photons, polaritons, rather than electrons.

These works are funded by the ERC POLAFLOW project N. 308136.

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