LMI Seminar: "Ultrastrong coupling of electrons and polaritons in 2D settings“

Dr. Ido Kaminer

Electrical Engineering and Solid State Institute, Technion

05 May 2021, 13:00 
 Computer generated holograms of three-dimensional objects based on analytical polygonal mesh model



The diversity of light-matter interactions accessible to a system is significantly limited by both the small size of an atom relative to the wavelength of the light it emits, and the small value of the fine-structure constant.

Overcoming these limitations is a long-standing challenge. Recent theoretical and experimental breakthroughs have shown that systems such as graphene, boron nitride, and other 2D van der Waals materials can support strongly confined light in the form of plasmon/phonon polaritons. Due to their strong confinement, these polariton force us to recast the main assumptions for light-matter interactions.

We identify cases in which the rate of two-photon spontaneous emission can compete with the rate conventional spontaneous emission, suggesting a new way of creating entangled photon pairs.

Our findings also offer a potential testing ground for quantum electrodynamics in the ultrastrong coupling regime, and more generally, offer the ability to take advantage of the full electronic spectrum of an emitter, or to modify it.

Finally, the seminar will touch upon several examples of such strong and ultrastrong interactions in different systems, revealing connections to the Cherenkov effect and to new experiments in laser-driven ultrafast electron microscopes.

- N. Rivera†, I. Kaminer†, B. Zhen, J. D. Joannopoulos, and M. Soljačić, Shrinking light to allow forbidden transitions on the atomic scale, Science 353, 263 (2016)

- Y. Kurman, N. Rivera, T. Christensen, S. Tsesses, M. Orenstein, M. Soljačić, J. D. Joannopoulos and I. Kaminer, Control of semiconductor emitter frequency by increasing polariton momenta, Nature Photonics 12, 423–429 (2018)

- Y. Kurman, and I. Kaminer, Tunable Bandgap Renormalization by Nonlocal Ultra-Strong Coupling in Nanophotonics, Nature Physics 16, 868–874 (2020)

- N. Rivera and I. Kaminer, Light–matter interactions with photonic quasiparticles, Nature Reviews Physics 2, 538–561 (2020) (Review)

- Y. Adiv†, H. Hu†, S. Tsesses†, R. Dahan, K. Wang, Y. Kurman, H. Chen, X. Lin, G. Bartal, and I. Kaminer, Two-dimensional Cherenkov radiation and its quantized nature under review

- Y. Kurman†, R. Dahan†, et al., Spatiotemporal imaging of 2D polariton wavepacket dynamics using free electrons, accepted to Science (2021)

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