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Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain

Accueil du site > Séminaires > 2011 > Seminar April 18, 2011

Séminaire 18 Avril 2011

All-optical Switching of Vacuum Rabi Oscillations : The Ultrafast Quantum Eraser

Stefano PORTOLAN (Institut Néel, Grenoble)

Recently ultrafast time control of strong coupling (SC) regime has been achieved in intersubband polaritons [1]. By exploiting an all-optical scheme, the dynamics of a coherent photon population, during sub-cycle switching-on of the SC, has been observed, opening a new domain of non-adiabatic light-matter interaction with unconventional quantum electrodynamics phenomena [1]. Switching light-matter interaction allows to control qubit evolution with time resolutions significantly lower than decoherence times. However, in a such complex structure, the very basic phenomena related to this switching have not yet been completely understood and no complete all-optical coherent control has been reported.

In this seminar I will present our very recent results on the time-control of the SC between a single cascade three-level quantum emitter (QE) and a microcavity [2]. This simpler model allows us to focus directly on the physics at the basis on the SC control and analyse deeply Vacuum Rabi Splitting switching, letting for future follow-ups a more refined realstic modeling. We find that, while the switch-on closely resembles the findings of Ref. [1], a more complex and intriguing behavior is observed when trying to switch-off the SC. Only specific arrival times of the control pulses succeed in switching-off, hence posing severe limitations on the SC full time-control. We found a nice explanation of the underlying physics in terms of quantum eraser phenomenology. Indeed, the induced entanglement between the cavity and the QE enables the latter to store the which-way information on photon paths, hence destroying coherence according to the quantum complementarity principle [3]. The present study can be applied to an enormous variety of state-of-the-art experiments and setups ranging from atomic and circuit-QED systems to semiconductor intersubband polaritons and quantum dot in optical cavities, the present scheme may be almost directly applied.


[1] G. Guenter et al., Nature 458, 178 (2009).

[2] A. Ridolfo et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 013601 (2011).

[3] S. Savasta et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 246401 (2005).