My future research objectives lie at the intersection of atomic physics and nanophotonics. In my previous lab at Caltech we strongly coupled cold atoms to 1D photonic crystal waveguides for applications to many-body quantum simulation, quantum memories, and other atom based quantum technologies. In my current lab at Princeton we use atoms trapped in optical tweezers excited to the Rydberg state to generate strong entangling interactions between atoms. Both of these approaches can be used to study fundamental atom-atom interactions for quantum information science.
Atoms and 1D Photonic Crystal Waveguides
The current system in use at Clatech is the so called alligator photonic crystal waveguide (APCW). The sinusoidal modulation of the external dielectric structure creates a photonic-bandgap inside which light cannot propagate within the structure. As such, an atom coupled to the waveguide that emits with a frequency inside the band gap will find the
Atom arrays coupled to nanophotonic elements
The emerging field of atoms trapped in optical tweezer arrays coupled with the superb advances in the nanofabrication of dielectric structures provides a new avenue of research with cold atoms. In systems such as the one shown to the right, we can engineer the photonic environment around the atom. In this case placing the atoms near a nanophotonic cavity formed by bragg mirrors M1 and M2. Through a cavity systems we are able to generate strong coupling between the atoms leading to applications in many-body physics, quantum memories, quantum sensors, metrology, and a wide range of other quantum information science applications.
The inset below the cavity denotes the important coupling parameters of this system, J1D is the atom-atom interaction rate that dictates the manner of spin-spin physics we can explore. Gamma1D and Gamma' are the emission rates of the atom into the waveguide and into free-space, respectively. The key advantage of nanophotonic systems is ability to drive the rate into the waveguide (the good coupling) to much larger than the decay rate into free-space (the bag coupling).