Nanofabrication technology can be used to create chip-based optical resonators in which light is confined to wavelength-scale dimensions for thousands of optical cycles. The resulting large per photon intracavity field strength, long photon storage time, and manipulation of the phase and group velocity of light, in combination with the device scalability and integration afforded by modern fabrication methods, provides several opportunities for applications in quantum and classical information processing, sensing, and metrology. We are working on multiple projects in developing chip-based nanophotonic structures that enhance light-matter interactions in both the quantum and classical regimes. These light-matter interactions include the coupling of single quantum emitters with confined optical fields, the enhancement of parametric nonlinear optical processes, and the manipulation of acousto-optic interactions in systems with engineered optical and mechanical modes.
In the quantum regime, one research project is in the development of single quantum dot nanophotonic and nanomechanical devices. These quantum dots provide access to single-photon emission and, when strongly-coupled to an optical field, also provide access to single-photon-level nonlinearities. A second research project is in the development of entangled photon pair sources based on spontaneous four-wave-mixing in nanophotonic resonators. A third project is in the development of on-chip devices that enable manipulation of the spectro-temporal characteristics of quantum light generated by nanophotonic systems (e.g, the quantum dot single-photon sources and microresonator photon pair sources described above). Such manipulation includes quantum frequency conversion - the mapping of a quantum state of light from wavelength band to the other - and approaches to arbitrarily manipulate the quantum state's temporal profile.
In the classical regime, we are utilizing parametric nonlinear optical processes to develop microresonator frequency comb devices and optical parametric oscillators that may enable time and frequency metrology and coherent control of quantum systems outside of a laboratory environment. In particular, we are working to demonstrate that the microresonator frequency combs can succesfully operate as the phase-coherent, bi-directional microwave-to-optical interface needed for optical frequency synthesizers and optical atomic clocks. For the optical parametric oscillators, we are trying to establish that they are a flexible and effective solution for visible wavelength laser generation at wavelengths of relevance for clocks, quantum sensors, and other technologies.
All projects involve the development of new measurement tools by which the light-matter interactions can be characterized and utilized, design and electromagnetic simulations of novel photonic geometries through which such light-matter interactions are promoted, and fabrication of devices in the state-of-the-art NIST Gaithersburg NanoFab. Measurements are performed in our labs on the NIST Gaithersburg campus and the NIST/UMD Joint Quantum Institute on the University of Maryland campus. Our projects involve a number of NIST, university, and industry collaborators, and there is opportunity for significant collaboration with other scientists and engineers within NIST, on both the Gaithersburg and Boulder campuses, and at the University of Maryland.
Nanophotonics; Quantum optics; Quantum information processing; Nonlinear optics; Optical metrology; Nanotechnology;