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  1. In this study, the “particle in a box” idea, which was broadly developed in semiconductor quantum dot research, was extended into mid-infrared (IR) cavity modes by applying lateral confinement in an optical cavity. The discrete cavity modes hybridized with molecular vibrational modes, resulting in a quartet of polariton states that can support multiple coherence states in the IR regime. We applied tailored pump pulse sequences to selectively prepare these coherences and verified the multi-coherence existence. The simulation based on Lindblad equation showed that because the quartet of polariton states resided in the same cavity, they were specifically robust toward decoherence caused by fluctuations in space. The multiple robust coherences paved the way for entangled states and coherent interactions between cavity polaritons, which would be critical for advancing polariton-based quantum information technology.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 3, 2024
  2. Two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy resolves ultrafast chemical dynamics in Fe(CO) 5 under vibrational strong coupling.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 18, 2023
  3. Realizing nonlinear interactions between spatially separated particles can advance molecular science and technology, including remote catalysis of chemical reactions, ultrafast processing of information in infrared (IR) photonic circuitry, and advanced platforms for quantum simulations with increased complexity. Here, we achieved nonlinear interactions at ultrafast time scale between polaritons contained in spatially adjacent cavities in the mid-IR regime, altering polaritons in one cavity by pumping polaritons in an adjacent one. This was done by strong coupling molecular vibrational modes with photon modes, a process that combines characteristics of both photon delocalization and molecular nonlinearity. The dual photon/molecule character of polaritons enables delocalized nonlinearity—a property that neither molecular nor cavity mode would have alone.
  4. Abstract

    Molecular vibrational polaritons (MVPs)—a hybrid molecular‐photon quasiparticle—and the development of a proof‐of‐principle quantum technology platform are discussed to simulate coherence transfer, for use at room temperature. It is shown that MVPs can form qubits, coherence, and have nonlinear interactions, all at room temperature. Some new insights, such as polaritonic nonlinearity dependence on macroscopic properties including cavity thickness and molecular concentrations are also uncovered. It is hoped that these advances can stimulate more research in developing this system into a quantum technology platform free from the constraints imposed by the requirement of cryogenic conditions.

  5. Abstract

    Coherence delocalization has been investigated on a coupled‐cavity molecular polariton platform in time, frequency, and spatial domains, enabled by ultrafast two‐dimensional infrared hyperspectral imaging. Unidirectional coherence delocalization (coherence prepared in one cavity transferred to another cavity) has been observed in frequency and real space. This directionality is enabled by the dissipation of delocalized photon from high‐energy to low‐energy modes, described by Lindblad dynamics. Further experiments show that when coherences are directly prepared between polaritons from different cavities, only energetically nearby polaritons can form coherences that survive the long‐range environmental fluctuation. Together with the Lindblad dynamics, this result implies that coherences delocalize through a one‐step mechanism where photons transfer from one cavity to another, shedding light to coherence evolution in natural and artificial quantum systems. This new optical platform based on molecular vibrational polariton thus demonstrates a way of combining photon and molecular modes to simulate coherence dynamics in the infrared regime.

  6. Selective vibrational energy transfer between molecules in the liquid phase, a difficult process hampered by weak intermolecular forces, is achieved through polaritons formed by strong coupling between cavity photon modes and donor and acceptor molecules. Using pump-probe and two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy, we found that the excitation of the upper polariton, which is composed mostly of donors, can efficiently relax to the acceptors within ~5 picoseconds. The energy-transfer efficiency can be further enhanced by increasing the cavity lifetime, suggesting that the energy transfer is a polaritonic process. This vibrational energy-transfer pathway opens doors for applications in remote chemistry, sensing mechanisms, and vibrational polariton condensation.