Metasurface Generates Quantum Interference at a Distance

We proposed a metasurface made of tiny gold antennas could act as either a flat mirror or a concave, focusing mirror, depending on the radiation pattern of the source, which could lead to new ways to control quantum systems.


An anisotropic quantum vacuum (AQV) opens novel pathways for controlling light-matter interaction in quantum optics, condensed matter physics, etc. Here, we theoretically demonstrate a strong AQV over macroscopic distances enabled by a judiciously designed array of subwavelength-scale nanoantennas—a metasurface. We harness the phase-control ability and the polarization-dependent response of the metasurface to achieve strong anisotropy in the decay rate of a quantum emitter located over distances of hundreds of wavelengths. Such an AQV induces quantum interference among radiative decay channels in an atom with orthogonal transitions. Quantum vacuum engineering with metasurfaces holds promise for exploring new paradigms of long-range light-matter interaction for atom optics, solid-state quantum optics, quantum information processing, etc.

Reference: P. Jha,* X. Ni,* C. Wu, Y. Wang, and X. Zhang, “Metasurface-Enabled Remote Quantum Interference,” Physical Review Letters, vol. 115, p. 025501, 2015. (Focus story) [Fulltext | Link]