Changing optical band structure with single photons

Andreas Albrecht, Tommaso Caneva, Darrick E Chang
2017 New Journal of Physics  
Achieving strong interactions between individual photons enables a wide variety of exciting possibilities in quantum information science and many-body physics. Cold atoms interfaced with nanophotonic structures have emerged as a platform to realize novel forms of nonlinear interactions. In particular, when atoms are coupled to a photonic crystal waveguide (PCW), long-range atomic interactions can arise that are mediated by localized atom-photon bound states. We theoretically show that in such a
more » ... show that in such a system, the absorption of a single photon can change the band structure for a subsequent photon. This occurs because the first photon affects the atoms in the chain in an alternating fashion, thus leading to an effective period doubling of the system and a new optical band structure for the composite atom-nanophotonic system. We demonstrate how this mechanism can be engineered to realize a single-photon switch, where the first incoming photon switches the system from being highly transmissive to highly reflective, and analyze how signatures can be observed via non-classical correlations of the outgoing photon field.
doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aa83ea fatcat:pkg65qankfg3toxzqioz4kvupi