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OSE Seminar with Dr. Garnett Bryan on Atom-based solid-state photonics, plasmonics and many-body physics: Nanotechnology goes atomic scale

Departmental News

Garnett Bryant seminar image

Posted: November 26, 2018

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Time:  11:00 AM to Noon 

Location:  P&A, Room 190


Dr. Garnett W. Bryant
Nanoscale Device Characterization Division and Joint Quantum Institute, National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Maryland, Gaithersburg, Maryland


Nanotechnology has been ubiquitous in photonics and quantum optics. Quantum dots and nanocrystals have proven to be excellent single, quantum photon sources. Metal nanoparticle plasmons generate highly localized intense fields ideal for sensing, local heating and coupling to quantum emitters. Plasmons in nanoscale structures can display quantum interference, just as photons do, even though plasmons rapidly decohere. Quantum dots are often called “artificial atoms” because of their discrete electronic structure. However, they still contain tens of thousands of atoms. Recently, solid-state structures which are atomic scale in one dimension, such as graphene and 2D layers of transition metal dichalcogenides, have shown strong plasmonic and photonic response. Now solid-state structures that are atomic-scale in two dimensions, such as chains of atoms on a surface, and in all three dimensions, such as dopant atoms in Si and defects in 2D materials, show great potential as photonic, electronic and quantum structures.
In this talk, I will describe how dopant atoms can be positioned in Si with atomic scale precision to form two dimensional planes of dopants (atomic scale in one dimension), wires of dopants (atomic-scale in two dimensions) and ordered collections of a few dopants (atomic scale in all dimensions). To illustrate the challenges in making these structures in the solid state, I will highlight the work that we needed to do at NIST to overcome these challenges. This opens up the possibility of making atomic-scale solid-state structures on demand. These dopant based structures in Si have drawn great interest for quantum information because the individual dopants are excellent candidate qubits, easily integrable with traditional Si electronics. I will describe some of the work to date in realizing both single-electronic transistors, and now, single and two-qubit structures. I will then point to some of the photonic and metrology applications that might be possible with these devices. Moreover, these atomic scale structures could be used to simulate complicated many-body Hamiltonians that are currently very difficult to solve. I will close by showing some calculations for few atom structures to illustrate the physics of how plasmons become quantized and the many body physics that can be revealed in small, few-atom structures.


Garnett W. Bryant is group leader of the Atom Scale Device Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) of the University of Maryland and NIST and a fellow of the American Physical Society. Prior to that, he was at the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratory from 1982 until 1990, and at the Army Research Laboratory from 1991 until 1994. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1978, had a postdoctoral position at Washington State University and a (US) National Research Council fellowship at NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards). His research has focused primarily on the theory of the electronic and optical properties of various condensed matter system. Initially efforts were on bulk systems, systems with defects, and surfaces. For many years, he has been studying nanoscale systems, such as semiconductor quantum dots, wires and nanocrystals, and metallic nanoparticle plasmonics.  In parallel, he has conducted for the last twenty years a theory program in near-field optics, near-field optical microscopy and nanooptics. Current interests include condensed matter systems for quantum information technology, such as the optics of quantum dots and quantum dot molecules, spin physics in these structures, atom-based silicon electronics, quantum plasmonics and highly correlated, confined, low-dimensional systems. He has nearly 200 publications, numerous invited talks at international conferences and workshops, has coauthored a book on the optics of quantum confined systems and a book on plasmonics and served on the program committees and organized symposia for such meetings as CLEO-QELS, the March American Physical Society Meeting and the International Conference on Near-Field Optics.