We show that a single photon pulse incident on two interacting two-level atoms induces a transient entanglement force between them. After absorption of a multi-mode Fock state pulse, the time-dependent atomic interaction mediated by the vacuum fluctuations changes from the van der Waals interaction to the resonant dipole–dipole interaction (RDDI). We explicitly show that the RDDI force induced by the single photon pulse fundamentally arises from the two-body transient entanglement between the atoms. This single photon pulse induced entanglement force can be continuously tuned from being repulsive to attractive by varying the polarization of the pulse. We further demonstrate that the entanglement force can be enhanced by more than three orders of magnitude if the atomic interactions are mediated by graphene plasmons. These results demonstrate the potential of shaped single photon pulses as a powerful tool to manipulate this entanglement force and also provides a new approach to witness transient atom–atom entanglement.
Nearly all thermal radiation phenomena involving materials with linear response can be accurately described via semi-classical theories of light. Here, we go beyond these traditional paradigms to study a nonlinear system that, as we show, requires quantum theory of damping. Specifically, we analyze thermal radiation from a resonant system containing a χ (2) nonlinear medium and supporting resonances at frequencies ω1 and ω2 ≈ 2ω1, where both resonators are driven only by intrinsic thermal fluctuations. Within our quantum formalism, we reveal new possibilities for shaping the thermal radiation. We show that the resonantly enhanced nonlinear interaction allows frequency-selective enhancement of thermal emission through upconversion, surpassing the well-known blackbody limits associated with linear media. Surprisingly, we also find that the emitted thermal light exhibits non-trivial statistics (g (2) (0) , ∼2) and biphoton intensity correlations (at two distinct frequencies). We highlight that these features can be observed in the near future by heating a properly designed nonlinear system, without the need for any external signal. Our work motivates new interdisciplinary inquiries combining the fields of nonlinear photonics, quantum optics and thermal science.
Electron g-factor engineering for nonreciprocal spin photonics”. Physical Review B, 101, 3, Pp. 035412.
We study the interplay of electron and photon spin in nonreciprocal materials. Traditionally, the primary mechanism to design nonreciprocal photonic devices has been magnetic fields in conjunction with magnetic oxides, such as iron garnets. In this work, we present an alternative paradigm that allows tunability and reconfigurability of the nonreciprocity through spintronic approaches. The proposed design uses the high spinorbit coupling (SOC) of a narrow-band-gap semiconductor (InSb) with ferromagnetic dopants. A combination of the intrinsic SOC and a gate-applied electric field gives rise to a strong external Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC) in a magnetically doped InSb film. The RSOC which is gate alterable is shown to adjust the magnetic permeability tensor via the electron g factor of the medium. We use electronic band structure calculations (k · p theory) to show that the gate-adjustable RSOC manifest itself in the nonreciprocal coefficient of photon fields via shifts in the Kerr and Faraday rotations. In addition, we show that photon spin properties of dipolar emitters placed in the vicinity of a nonreciprocal electromagnetic environment are distinct from reciprocal counterparts. The Purcell factor (Fp) of a spin-polarized emitter (right-handed circular dipole) is significantly enhanced due to a larger g factor while a left-handed dipole remains essentially unaffected. Our search for novel nonreciprocal material platforms can lead to electron-spin-controlled reconfigurable photonic devices.
Controlling and detecting thermal radiation is of vital importance for varied applications ranging from energy conversion systems and nanoscale information processing devices to infrared imaging, spectroscopy, and sensing. We review the field of high-temperature thermal photonics, which aims to control the spectrum, polarization, tunability, switchability, and directionality of heat radiation from engineered materials in extreme environments. We summarize the candidate materials that are being pursued by the community that have simultaneous polaritonic/plasmonic properties as well as high-temperature stability. We also provide a detailed discussion of common photonic platforms, including metagratings, photonic crystals, and metamaterials used for thermal emission engineering. We review broad applications, including thermophotovoltaics, high-temperature radiative cooling, thermal radiation sources, and noisy nanoscale thermal devices. By providing an overview of the recent achievements in this field, we hope this review can accelerate progress to overcome major outstanding problems in modern thermal engineering.
Spectral domain inverse design for accelerating nanocomposite metamaterials discovery”. Optical Materials Express, 9, 12, Pp. 4765-4771.
Inverse design techniques in the context of nanophotonics have helped in discovery of compact and counter-intuitive structures/shapes. We introduce the concept of spectral domain inverse design to search through the optical trade-space (dispersive permittivity) of nanocomposite metamaterials. We develop a hybrid optimization technique that combines genetic algorithms and gradient descent methods. We utilize this technique to inverse design an ultra-thin thermophotovoltaic emitter coating material. Our work can lead to an efficient approach to search for new multi-functional optical/thermal metamaterials with desired complex permittivity.
The interplay of spin angular momentum and thermal radiation is a frontier area of interest to nanophotonics as well as topological physics. Here, we show that a thick planar slab of a nonreciprocal material, despite being at thermal equilibrium with its environment, can exhibit nonzero photon spin angular momentum and nonzero radiative heat flux in its vicinity. We identify them as the persistent thermal photon spin and the persistent planar heat current respectively. With a practical example system, we reveal that the fundamental origin of these phenomena is connected to the spin-momentum locking of thermally excited evanescent waves. We also discover spin magnetic moment of surface polaritons that further clarifies these features. We then propose an imaging experiment based on Brownian motion that allows one to witness these surprising features by directly looking at them using a lab microscope. We further demonstrate the universal behavior of these near-field thermal radiation phenomena through a comprehensive analysis of gyroelectric, gyromagnetic and magneto-electric nonreciprocal materials. Together, these results expose a surprisingly little explored research area of thermal spin photonics with prospects for new avenues related to non-Hermitian topological photonics and radiative heat transport.
The interplay of photon spin and orbital angular momentum (OAM) in the optical fiber (one-dimensional waveguide) has recently risen to the forefront of quantum nanophotonics. Here, we introduce the fermionic dual of the optical fiber, the Dirac wire, which exhibits unique electronic spin and OAM properties arising from confined solutions of the Dirac equation. The Dirac wires analyzed here represent cylindrical generalizations of the Jackiw-Rebbi domain wall and the minimal topological insulator, which are of significant interest in spintronics. We show the unique longitudinal spin arising from electrons confined to propagation in a wire, an effect which is fundamentally prohibited in planar geometries. Our work sheds light on the universal spatial dynamics of electron spin in confined geometries and the duality between electronic and photonic spin.
High-Temperature Polaritons in Ceramic Nanotube Antennas”. Nano letters, 19, 12, Pp. 8565-8571.
High-temperature thermal photonics presents unique challenges for engineers as the database of materials that can withstand extreme environments are limited. In particular, ceramics with high temperature stability that can support coupled light-matter excitations, that is, polaritons, open new avenues for engineering radiative heat transfer. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is an emerging ceramic 2D material that possesses low-loss polaritons in two spectrally distinct mid-infrared frequency bands. The hyperbolic nature of these frequency bands leads to a large local density of states (LDOS). In 2D form, these polaritonic states are dark modes, bound to the material. In cylindrical form, boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) create subwavelength particles capable of coupling these dark modes to radiative ones. In this study, we leverage the high-frequency optical phonons present in BNNTs to create strong mid-IR thermal antenna emitters at high temperatures (938 K). Through direct measurement of thermal emission of a disordered system of BNNTs, we confirm their radiative polaritonic modes and show that the antenna behavior can be observed even in a disordered system. These are among the highest-frequency optical phonon polaritons that exist and could be used as high-temperature mid-IR thermal nanoantenna sources.
Circularly polarized light can be obtained by using either polarization conversion or structural chirality. Here we reveal a fundamentally unrelated mechanism of generating circularly polarized light using coupled nonequilibrium sources. We show that thermal emission from a compact dimer of subwavelength, anisotropic antennas can be highly circularly polarized when the antennas are at unequal temperatures. Furthermore, the handedness of emitted light is flipped upon interchanging the temperatures of the antennas, thereby enabling reconfigurability of the polarization state lacked by most circularly polarized light sources. We describe the fundamental origin of this mechanism using rigorous fluctuational electrodynamic analysis and further provide practical examples for its experimental implementation. Apart from the technology applications in reconfigurable devices, communication, and sensing, this work motivates new inquiries of angular-momentum-related thermal-radiation phenomena using thermal nonequilibrium, without applying magnetic field.
In this article, we develop a unified perspective of unidirectional topological edge waves in nonreciprocal media. We focus on the inherent role of photonic spin in nonreciprocal gyroelectric media, i.e. magnetized metals or magnetized insulators. Due to the large body of contradicting literature, we point out at the outset that these Maxwellian spin waves are fundamentally different from well-known topologically trivial surface plasmon polaritons. We first review the concept of a Maxwell Hamiltonian in nonreciprocal media, which immediately reveals that the gyrotropic coefficient behaves as a photon mass in two dimensions. Similar to the Dirac mass, this photonic mass opens bandgaps in the energy dispersion of bulk propagating waves. Within these bulk photonic bandgaps, three distinct classes of Maxwellian edge waves exist – each arising from subtle differences in boundary conditions. On one hand, the edge wave solutions are rigorous photonic analogs of Jackiw-Rebbi electronic edge states. On the other hand, for the exact same system, they can be high frequency photonic counterparts of the integer quantum Hall effect, familiar at zero frequency. Our Hamiltonian approach also predicts the existence of a third distinct class of Maxwellian edge wave exhibiting topological protection. This occurs in an intriguing topological bosonic phase of matter, fundamentally different from any known electronic or photonic medium. The Maxwellian edge state in this unique quantum gyroelectric phase of matter necessarily requires a sign change in gyrotropy arising from nonlocality (spatial dispersion). In a Drude system, this behavior emerges from a spatially dispersive cyclotron frequency that switches sign with momentum. A signature property of these topological electromagnetic edge states is that they are oblivious to the contacting medium, i.e. they occur at the interface of the quantum gyroelectric phase and any medium (even vacuum). This is because the edge state satisfies open boundary conditions – all components of the electromagnetic field vanish at the interface. Furthermore, the Maxwellian spin waves exhibit photonic spin-1 quantization in exact analogy with their supersymmetric spin-1/2 counterparts. The goal of this paper is to discuss these three foundational classes of edge waves in a unified perspective while providing in-depth derivations, taking into account nonlocality and various boundary conditions. Our work sheds light on the important role of photonic spin in condensed matter systems, where this definition of spin is also translatable to topological photonic crystals and metamaterials.