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SPECIAL AMO/QO Pizza Seminar

"Experiments Using Sub-Wavelength Diameter Tapered Optical Fibers in Rubidium Vapor"

Dr. Meimei Lai
University of Maryland, Baltimore County


This talk will focus on the observation of two-photon absorption at power levels of less than 150 nW. This was done in a new system that enhances nonlinear optical effects, and involves suspending a tapered optical fiber with a diameter less than the wavelength of the propagating light in warm atomic rubidium vapor. This system was used to successfully observe saturated absorption [1, 2] (which is a repeat of Spillane's first paper in 2008[3]) with nano Watts power levels. More significantly, we observed two-photon absorption (which can be used for one beam controlling another) with the power of only 100's of photons; this was the lowest power of two-photon absorption at that time (2010[1]). Furthermore, we improved the transmission of the tapered fiber: we are the first group (2013[2]) to demonstrate the real time measurement of the rubidium atoms affecting the transmission of the nano fiber, and how our heating element can prevent the degradation of the tapered optical fiber. This makes our system feasible for technology transfer from a lab setting towards a practical device, on the way to the photonic logic gate.

[1] S. M. Hendrickson, M. M. Lai, T. B. Pittman, and J. D. Franson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 173602 (2010)
[2] M. M. Lai, J. D. Franson, and T. B. Pittman, Appl. Optics, 52, 2595 (2013)
[3] S. M. Spillane et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 233602 (2008)

Thursday, August 29, 2013
IQSE 578, 12:30 noon
Mitchell Physics Building

Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University

(Pizza, salad, and soda to be served at 12:00 noon)

Host: Dr. Marlan O. Scully