Publications

2021

Yifan Wang, Chinmay Khandekar, Xingyu Gao, Tongcang Li, Dan Jiao, and Zubin Jacob. 10/25/2021. Broadband circularly polarized thermal radiation from magnetic Weyl semimetals. Optical Materials Express 11 (11), Pp. 3880-3895.

We numerically demonstrate that a planar slab made of magnetic Weyl semimetal (a class of topological materials) can emit high-purity circularly polarized (CP) thermal radiation over a broad mid- and long-wave infrared wavelength range for a significant portion of its emission solid angle. This effect fundamentally arises from the strong infrared gyrotropy or nonreciprocity of these materials, which primarily depends on the momentum separation between Weyl nodes in the band structure. We clarify the dependence of this effect on the underlying physical parameters and highlight that the spectral bandwidth of CP thermal emission increases with increasing momentum separation between the Weyl nodes. We also demonstrate, using the recently developed thermal discrete dipole approximation (TDDA) computational method, that finite-size bodies of magnetic Weyl semimetals can emit spectrally broadband CP thermal light, albeit over smaller portion of the emission solid angle compared to the planar slabs. Our work identifies unique fundamental and technological prospects of magnetic Weyl semimetals for engineering thermal radiation and designing efficient CP light sources.

Farid Kalhor, Li-Ping Yang, Leif Bauer, and Zubin Jacob. 10/1/2021.

Quantum sensing of photonic spin density using a single spin qubit

. Physical Review Research 3, Pp. 043007.

Nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond have emerged as promising room-temperature quantum sensors for probing condensed matter phenomena ranging from spin liquids, two-dimensional (2D) magnetic materials, and magnons to hydrodynamic flow of current. Here we propose and demonstrate that the nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond can be used as a quantum sensor for detecting the photonic spin density, the spatial distribution of light’s spin angular momentum. We exploit a single spin qubit on an atomic force microscope tip to probe the spinning field of an incident Gaussian light beam. The spinning field of light induces an effective static magnetic field in the single spin qubit probe. We perform room-temperature sensing using Bloch sphere operations driven by a microwave field (XY8 protocol). This nanoscale quantum magnetometer can measure the local polarization of light in ultra-sub-wavelength volumes. We also put forth a rigorous theory of the experimentally measured phase change using the NV center Hamiltonian and perturbation theory involving only virtual photon transitions. The direct detection of the photonic spin density at the nanoscale using NV centers in diamond opens interesting quantum metrological avenues for studying exotic phases of photons, nanoscale properties of structured light as well as future on-chip applications in spin quantum electrodynamics.

See also: Spin
Li-Ping Yang and Zubin Jacob. 9/30/2021. Non-classical photonic spin texture of quantum structured light. Communications Physics, 4,221.

Classical structured light with controlled polarization and orbital angular momentum (OAM)of electromagnetic waves has varied applications in optical trapping, bio-sensing, optical communications, and quantum simulations. However, quantum noise and photon statistics of three-dimensional photonic angular momentum are relatively less explored. Here, we develop a quantum framework and put forth the concept of quantum structured light for space-time wavepackets at the single-photon level. Our work deals with three-dimensional angular momentum observables for twisted quantum pulses beyond scalar-field theory as well as the paraxial approximation. We show that the spin density generates modulated helical texture and exhibits distinct photon statistics for Fock-state vs. coherent-state twisted pulses. We introduce the quantum correlator of photon spin density to characterize nonlocal spin noise providing a rigorous parallel with electronic spin noise. Our work can lead to quantum spin-OAM physics in twisted single-photon pulses and opens explorations for phases of light with long-range spin order.

Todd Van Mechelen, Wenbo Sun, and Zubin Jacob. 8/5/2021. Optical N-invariant of graphene’s topological viscous Hall fluid. Nature Communications, 12, 4729.

Over the past three decades, graphene has become the prototypical platform for discovering topological phases of matter. Both the Chern C 2 Z and quantum spin Hall υ 2 Z2 insulators were first predicted in graphene, which led to a veritable explosion of research in topological materials. We introduce a new topological classification of two-dimensional matter – the optical N-phases N 2 Z. This topological quantum number is connected to polarization transport and captured solely by the spatiotemporal dispersion of the susceptibility tensor χ. We verify N ≠ 0 in graphene with the underlying physical mechanism being repulsive Hall viscosity. An experimental probe, evanescent magneto-optic Kerr effect (e-MOKE) spectroscopy, is proposed to explore the N-invariant. We also develop topological circulators by exploiting gapless edge plasmons that are immune to back-scattering and navigate sharp defects with impunity. Our work indicates that graphene with repulsive Hall viscosity is the first candidate material for a topological electromagnetic phase of matter.

Farhad Khosravi, Maximilian M. Sonner, and Zubin Jacob. 7/28/2021. Ultrafast electron cycloids driven by the transverse spin of a surface acoustic wave. Science Advances, 7, 31.

Spin-momentum locking is a universal wave phenomenon promising for applications in electronics and photonics. In acoustics, Lord Rayleigh showed that surface acoustic waves exhibit a characteristic elliptical particle motion strikingly similar to spin-momentum locking. Although these waves have become one of the few phononic technologies of industrial relevance, the observation of their transverse spin remained an open challenge. Here, we observe the full spin dynamics by detecting ultrafast electron cycloids driven by the gyrating electric field produced by a surface acoustic wave propagating on a slab of lithium niobate. A tubular quantum well wrapped around a nanowire serves as an ultrafast sensor tracking the full cyclic motion of electrons. Our acousto-optoelectrical approach opens previously unknown directions in the merged fields of nanoacoustics, nanophotonics, and nanoelectronics for future exploration.

Fanglin Bao, Hyunsoo Choi, Zubin Jacob, and Vaneet Aggarwal. 5/2021.

Quantum-accelerated imaging of N stars

. Optics Letters, 46, 13, Pp. 3045-3048.

Imaging point sources with low angular separation near or below the Rayleigh criterion are important in astronomy, e.g., in the search for habitable exoplanets near stars. However, the measurement time required to resolve stars in the sub-Rayleigh region via traditional direct imaging is usually prohibitive. Here we propose quantum-accelerated imaging (QAI) to significantly reduce the measurement time using an information-theoretic approach. QAI achieves quantum acceleration by adaptively learning optimal measurements from data to maximize Fisher information per detected photon. Our approach can be implemented experimentally by linear-projection instruments followed by single-photon detectors. We estimate the position, brightness, and the number of unknown stars 10∼100 times faster than direct imaging with the same aperture. QAI is scalable to a large number of incoherent point sources and can find widespread applicability beyond astronomy to high-speed imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and efficient optical read-out of qubits.

Matthew van Niekerk, Saman Jahani, Justin Bickford, Pak Cho, Stephen Anderson, Gerald Leake, Daniel Coleman, Michael L. Fanto, Christopher C. Tison, Gregory A. Howland, Zubin Jacob, and Stefan F. Preble. 4/2021.

Two-dimensional extreme skin depth engineering for CMOS photonics

. J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 38, 4, Pp. 1307-1316.

Extreme skin depth engineering (e-skid) can be applied to integratedphotonics to manipulate the evanescent field of a waveguide. Here wedemonstrate that e-skid can be implemented in two directions in order todeterministically engineer the evanescent wave allowing for denseintegration with enhanced functionalities. In particular, by increasingthe skin depth, we enable the creation of two-dimensional (2D) e-skiddirectional couplers with large gaps and operational bandwidth. Here weexperimentally validate 2D e-skid for integrated photonics in acomplementary metal--oxide semiconductor (CMOS) photonics foundry anddemonstrate strong coupling with a gap of 1.44 {\textmu}m.

See also: Photonics
Xingyu Gao, Chinmay Khandekar, Zubin Jacob, and Tongcang Li. 3/24/2021.

Thermal equilibrium spin torque: Near-field radiative angular momentum transfer in magneto-optical media

. Physical Review B, 103, 12.

Spin and orbital angular momentum of light plays a central role in quantum nanophotonics as well as topological electrodynamics. Here, we show that the thermal radiation from finite-size bodies comprising nonreciprocal magneto-optical materials can exert a spin torque even in global thermal equilibrium. Moving beyond the paradigm of near-field heat transfer, we calculate near-field radiative angular momentum transfer between finite-size nonreciprocal objects by combining Rytov's fluctuational electrodynamics with the theory of optical angular momentum. We prove that a single magneto-optical cubic particle in nonequilibrium with its surroundings experiences a torque in the presence of an applied magnetic field (T-symmetry breaking). Furthermore, even in global thermal equilibrium, two particles with misaligned gyrotropy axes experience equal-magnitude torques with opposite signs which tend to align their gyrotropy axes parallel to each other. Our results are universally applicable to semiconductors like InSb (magnetoplasmas) as well as Weyl semimetals which exhibit the anomalous Hall effect (gyrotropic) at infrared frequencies. Our work paves the way towards near-field angular momentum transfer mediated by thermal fluctuations for nanoscale devices.

See also: Thermal, Photonics
Reza Baghdadi, Ekkehart Schmidt, Saman Jahani, Ilya Charaev, Michael G W Müller, Marco Colangelo, Di Zhu, Konstantin Ilin, Alexej D Semenov, Zubin Jacob, Michael Siegel, and Karl K Berggren. 2/2/2021.

Enhancing the performance of superconducting nanowire-based detectors with high-filling factor by using variable thickness

. Superconductor Science and Technology, 34.

Current crowding at bends of superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) is one of the main factors limiting the performance of meander-style detectors with large filling factors. In this paper, we propose a new concept to reduce the influence of the current crowding effect, a so-called variable thickness SNSPD, which is composed of two regions with different thicknesses. A larger thickness of bends in comparison to the thickness of straight nanowire sections locally reduces the current density and reduces the suppression of the critical current caused by current crowding. This allows variable thickness SNSPD to have a higher critical current, an improved detection efficiency, and decreased dark count rate in comparison with a standard uniform thickness SNSPD with an identical geometry and film quality.

See also: Photonics
Shaimaa I. Azzam, Krishnakali Chaudhuri, Alexei Lagutchev, Zubin Jacob, Young L., Vladimir M. Shalaev, Alexandra Boltasseva, and Alexander V. Kildishev. 1/27/2021.

Single and Multi-Mode Directional Lasing from Arrays of Dielectric Nanoresonators

. Laser & Photonics Reviews, 15.

Abstract The strong electric and magnetic resonances in dielectric subwavelength structures have enabled unique opportunities for efficient manipulation of light–matter interactions. Besides, the dramatic enhancement of nonlinear light–matter interactions near so-called bound states in the continuum (BICs) has recently attracted enormous attention due to potential advancements. However, the experimental realizations and the applications of high-Q factor resonances in dielectric resonances in the visible have thus far been considerably limited. In this work, the interplay of electric and magnetic dipoles in arrays of dielectric nanoresonators is explored. The experimental realization of high-Q factor resonances in the visible through the collective diffractive coupling of electric and magnetic dipoles is reported. It is also shown that coupling the Rayleigh anomaly of the array with the dipoles of the individual nanoresonators can result in the formation of different types of BICs. The resonances in the visible regime is utilized to achieve lasing action at room temperature with high spatial directionality and low threshold. Finally, multi-mode, directional lasing is experimentally demonstrated and the BIC-assisted lasing mode engineering in arrays of dielectric nanoresonators is studied. It is believed that the results enable a new range of applications in flat photonics through realizing on-chip controllable single and multi-wavelength micro-lasers.

See also: Photonics