OSE Seminar by Prof. Edo Waks on Controlling light with a single spin

Departmental News

Prof. Edo Waks

Posted: October 16, 2020

Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020 

Time:  12:15 PM to 1:15 PM

Location:  via Zoom

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Interactions between light and matter lie at the heart of optical communication and information processing. Nanophotonic devices enhance light-matter interactions by confining photons to small mode volumes, enabling devices to operate at significantly lower energies.  In the strong coupling regime these interactions are sufficiently large to generate a nonlinear response with a single photon, an essential component for quantum information processing applications.  In this talk I will describe our effort to generate strong photon-photon interactions by coupling spin to light using nanophotonics. I will discuss an experimental demonstration of a quantum transistor, a fundamental building block for quantum computers and quantum networks, using a single electron spin that strongly interact with light through a nanophotonic cavity.  This device enables the spin to switch a single photon, and a single photon to flip the spin. Using the spin as an ancilla memory, we are able to switch a strong optical field with more than 20 photons using just a single photon as a control signal. Finally, I will discuss our recent effort to extend our results into the telecommunication wavelengths, and to improve the efficiency and scalability of the structure in order to attain integrated multi-dot devices on a single chip.


Edo Waks is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.  He is also a member of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland and NIST, Gaithersburg, dedicated to the study of quantum coherence.   Waks received his B.S. and M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.  He is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an NSF CAREER award, and ARO Young Investigator Award for the investigation of interactions between quantum dots and nanophotonic structures.  His current work focuses coherent control and manipulation semiconductor quantum dots, and their interactions with photonic crystal devices for creating strong atom-photon interactions.