Stuttgart 2012 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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Q: Fachverband Quantenoptik und Photonik

Q 58: Photonik 3

Q 58.7: Vortrag

Freitag, 16. März 2012, 12:15–12:30, V38.01

Controlling the Phase of a Light Beam with a Single Molecule — •Andreas Maser1, Martin Pototschnig2,3, Yannick Chassagneux4,3, Jaesuk Hwang5,3, Gert Zumofen3, Alois Renn3, and Vahid Sandoghdar1,31Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, 91058 Erlangen, Germany — 2Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics 12-33, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA — 3Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland — 4Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, Ecole Normale Superieure, 75231 Paris Cedex 5, France — 5Department of Physics, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom

Single optical emitters such as atoms, ions, molecules, quantum dots, and color centers have been most commonly detected via their fluorescence emission. However, the fluorescence signal fails to access the coherent features of the interaction between the emitter and the incident light. We investigate both the amplitude and the phase involved in the coupling of a single molecule and a weak laser beam. An attenuation of up to 20% and a phase shift larger than 3 is observed.

We use this effect to record the first phase-contrast images of single molecules. Furthermore, by applying a voltage to the microelectrodes embedded in the sample we demonstrate a single-molecule electro-optical phase switch. Our results may find applications in single-molecule holography, fast optical coherent signal processing, and single-emitter quantum operations [1].

[1] M. Pototschnig et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 063001 (2011)

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