Alkali metal vapors enable access to single electron systems, suitable for demonstrating fundamental light-matter interactions and promising for quantum logic operations, storage and sensing. However, progress is hampered by the need for robust and repeatable control over the atomic vapor density and over the associated optical depth. Until now, a moderate improvement of the optical depth was attainable through bulk heating or laser desorption – both time-consuming techniques. Here, we use plasmonic nanoparticles to convert light into localized thermal energy and to achieve optical depths in warm vapors, corresponding to a ~16 times increase in vapor pressure in less than 20 ms, with possible reload times much shorter than an hour. Our results enable robust and compact light-matter devices, such as efficient quantum memories and photon-photon logic gates, in which strong optical nonlinearities are crucial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
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Rusimova, K. (Creator), Slavov, D. (Creator), Pradaux-Caggiano, F. (Creator), Collins, J. (Creator), Gordeev, S. (Creator), Carbery, D. (Creator), Mosley, P. (Creator), Wadsworth, W. (Creator) & Valev, V. (Creator), University of Bath, 24 May 2019