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Quantum Gas and Quantum Optics » Publications » Atom-light interactions in photonic crystals

Atom-light interactions in photonic crystals

Authors: A. Goban*, C.-L. Hung*, S.-P. Yu*, J. D. Hood*, J. A. Muniz*, J. H. Lee, M. J. Martin, A. C. McClung, K. S. Choi, D. E. Chang, O. Painter and H. J. Kimble
Journal Ref: Nature Communications 5, 3808 (2014).

The integration of nanophotonics and atomic physics has been a long-sought goal that would open new frontiers for optical physics, including novel quantum transport and many-body phenomena with photon-mediated atomic interactions. Reaching this goal requires surmounting diverse challenges in nanofabrication and atomic manipulation. Here we report the development of a novel integrated optical circuit with a photonic crystal capable of both localizing and interfacing atoms with guided photons. Optical bands of a photonic crystal waveguide are aligned with selected atomic transitions. From reflection spectra measured with average atom number , we infer that atoms are localized within the waveguide by optical dipole forces. The fraction of single-atom radiative decay into the waveguide is Γ1D/Γ′≃(0.32±0.08), where Γ1D is the rate of emission into the guided mode and Γ′ is the decay rate into all other channels. Γ1D/Γ′ is unprecedented in all current atom–photon interfaces.