Light-Matter Interface

It is a necessary requirement for any functional quantum device to link the functional quantum unit with the macroscopic outside world.  Research at the center for IQST investigates a variety of materials for actualizing this link via light-matter interactions.  The light-matter interface represents a tool to map in a coherent way quantum states of matter onto quantum states of light and vice versa.  Light-matter interfacing via new materials is a crucial ingredient to realize the link of nodes of a quantum network, and, therefore, plays a central role in the context of quantum technology. One possibility to map non-classical states of matter to light fields relies on cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) and, in particular, on the use of high-finesse cavities. It has also become possible to map quantum states of light on to matter. We will put an emphasis on quantum optical effects at surfaces such as the Casimir-Polder interaction between atoms and dielectric surfaces. Moreover, the interface of light with strongly interacting quantum matter provides a perspective for possible applications in solid state devices, molecular systems as well as for ultra-cold and even for thermal atoms.  A light-matter interface of a different character is realized in photosynthetic complexes. Indeed, light-harvesting and energy transduction is of crucial importance to biology and to the development of alternative energy resources.

Research topics (groups)

  • Quantum state mapping (Giessen, Hecker Denschlag, Kubanek, Jelezko, Michler, Pfau, van Slageren, Wrachtrup)
  • Quantum optics at surfaces (Giessen, Kubanek, Jelezko, Michler, Michaelis, Wrachtrup)
  • Organic photovoltaic devices (Frühauf)
  • Light harvesting and energy transfer in nanoscopic and multichromophore assemblies (Plenio, Huelga)
  • Matter wave gyroscopes (Schleich)
  • Photonics of mesoscopic conductors (Ankerhold)