Universiteit Leiden

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Martin van Exter Lab (Quantum Optics and Light-Matter Interaction)

Prior Research

The van Exter group has an extensive history of prior research in classical and quantum optics. As former part of the group of Han Woerdman, we have studied topics as diverse as:

Quantum noise in lasers

The stability of any laser is ultimately limited by quantum noise. We have studied the effect of quantum noise in semiconductor lasers, high-gain gas lasers, and Nd-doped solid state lasers to find among others: excess quantum noise, extreme relaxation oscillations, and intriguing polarization dynamics.

M.P. van Exter, M.B. Willemsen and J.P. Woerdman (1998), Polarization fluctuations in vertical-cavity semiconductor lasers, Phys. Rev. A58, p. 4191-4205

A.K. Jansen van Doorn, M.P. van Exter, and J.P. Woerdman (196), Elasto-optic anisotroy and polarization orientation of vertical-cavity surface-emitting semiconductor lasers, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96: 1041

S.J.M. Kuppens, M.P. van Exter and J.P. Woerdman (1994), Quantum-limited linewidth of a bad-cavity laser, Phys. Rev. Lett. 72, 3815

Polarization fluctuations in a laser can be describes as an evolution on the Poincaré sphere. These fluctuations are driven by quantum noise produced by spontaneous emission.

Quantum entanglement of photon pairs

We have studied the generation, propagation, and scattering of quantum-entangled photon pairs. Their spatial properties enable one to access a higher-dimensional quantum space and work with qudits instead of the common qubits. The Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) proofs to be a relatively robust quantum number.

W.H. Peeters, J.J.D. Moerman, and M.P. van Exter (2010), Observation of two-photon speckle patterns, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 173601

H. Di Lorenzo Pires, H.C.B. Florijn and M.P. van Exter (2010), Measurement of the spiral spectrum of entangled two-photon states, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 020505

E. Altewischer, M.P. van Exter, and J.P. Woerdman (2002), Plasmon-assisted transmission of entangled photons, Nature 418: 304-306

Two-photon speckle pattern observed behind two diffusors, which together mimic bulk scattering. The figure shows the coincidence count rate per second (in false colors) as a function of the two detector positions.

Metal hole arrays and surface plasmon lasers

Thin metal layers perforated with regular arrays of nanometer-size holes are convenient tools to generate and scatter surface plasmons. We have compensated their losses by adding a gain layer and studied the resulting surface plasmon lasing in various configurations and geometries.

E.W. de Vos, M.J.A. de Dood, and M.P. van Exter (2019), Surface plasmon laser with two hole arrays as cavity mirrors, Optica 6, 92-95

Tenner V.T., Dood M.J.A. de & Exter M.P. van (2018), Two-mode surface plasmon lasing in hexagonal arrays, Optics Letters 43: 166-169

F. van Beijnum, P.J. van Veldhoven, E.J. Geluk, M.J.A. de Dood, and M.P. van Exter, Surface plamon lasing observed in metal hole arrays, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 206802

F. van Beijnum, C. Rétif, C.B. Smiet, H. Liu, P. Lalanne and M.P. van Exter (2012), Quasi-cylindrical wave contribution in experiments on extraordinary optical transmission, Nature 492, p. 411-414

Cavity QED with semiconductor quantum dots in micro pillars

Semiconductor quantum dots in monolithic oxide-confined micro pillar cavities can function as single-photon emitters and single-photon switches, where the quantum state of a single quantum dots determines whether the cavity transmits or reflect the light. We have studied both applications in the past. This research is continued and improved by Wolfgang Löffler.

Snijders H.J., Frey J.A., Norman J., Flayac H., Savona V., Gossard A.C., Bowers J.E., Exter M.P. van, Bouwmeester D. & Löffler W. (2018), Observation of the Unconventional Photon Blockade, Physical Review Letters 121: 043601

Snijders H.J., Frey J.A., Norman J., Post V.P., Gossard A.C., Bowers J.E., Exter M.P. van, Löffler W. & Bouwmeester D. (2018), Fiber-Coupled Cavity-QED Source of Identical Single Photons, Physical Review Applied 9: 031002

C. Bonato, (2010), CNOT and Bell-state analysis in the weak-coupling cavity QED regime, Phys. Rev. Lett. 14, 160503

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