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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 21, 2023
  2. We investigate the interaction of weak light fields with two-dimensional lattices of atoms with high lying atomic Rydberg states. This system features different interactions that act on disparate length scales, from zero-range defect scattering of atomic excitations and finite-range dipole exchange processes to long-range Rydberg-state interactions, which span the entire array and can block multiple Rydberg excitations. Analyzing their interplay, we identify conditions that yield a nonlinear quantum mirror which coherently splits incident fields into correlated photon-pairs in a single transverse mode, while transmitting single photons unaffected. In particular, we find strong anti-bunching of the transmitted light with equal-time pair correlations that decrease exponentially with an increasing range of the Rydberg blockade. Such strong photon-photon interactions in the absence of photon losses open up promising avenues for the generation and manipulation of quantum light, and the exploration of many-body phenomena with interacting photons.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 30, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. Abstract Strong optical nonlinearities play a central role in realizing quantum photonic technologies. Exciton-polaritons, which result from the hybridization of material excitations and cavity photons, are an attractive candidate to realize such nonlinearities. While the interaction between ground state excitons generates a notable optical nonlinearity, the strength of such interactions is generally not sufficient to reach the regime of quantum nonlinear optics. Excited states, however, feature enhanced interactions and therefore hold promise for accessing the quantum domain of single-photon nonlinearities. Here we demonstrate the formation of exciton-polaritons using excited excitonic states in monolayer tungsten diselenide (WSe 2 ) embedded in a microcavity. The realized excited-state polaritons exhibit an enhanced nonlinear response ∼ $${g}_{{pol}-{pol}}^{2s} \sim 46.4\pm 13.9\,\mu {eV}\mu {m}^{2}$$ g p o l − p o l 2 s ~ 46.4 ± 13.9 μ e V μ m 2 which is ∼4.6 times that for the ground-state exciton. The demonstration of enhanced nonlinear response from excited exciton-polaritons presents the potential of generating strong exciton-polariton interactions, a necessary building block for solid-state quantum photonic technologies.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. Abstract

    The ability to generate and control strong long-range interactions via highly excited electronic states has been the foundation for recent breakthroughs in a host of areas, from atomic and molecular physics to quantum optics and technology. Rydberg excitons provide a promising solid-state realization of such highly excited states, for which record-breaking orbital sizes of up to a micrometer have indeed been observed in cuprous oxide semiconductors. Here, we demonstrate the generation and control of strong exciton interactions in this material by optically producing two distinct quantum states of Rydberg excitons. This is made possible by two-color pump-probe experiments that allow for a detailed probing of the interactions. Our experiments reveal the emergence of strong spatial correlations and an inter-state Rydberg blockade that extends over remarkably large distances of several micrometers. The generated many-body states of semiconductor excitons exhibit universal properties that only depend on the shape of the interaction potential and yield clear evidence for its vastly extended-range and power-law character.